Poll: Managers Spend Seven Hours Weekly Playing Peacemaker

October 18, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Difficult workers continue to eat up a substantial chunk of a manager's time in dealing with office conflicts, according to a new survey.

The poll of 150 senior executives by Accountemps, a temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals found that almost a fifth (18%) of managers’ time – or more than seven hours each week – is spent playing office peacemaker.

According to an Accountemps news release, executives were asked, “What percentage of management time is wasted resolving staff personality conflicts?” The 2006 mean response of 18% was unchanged from a 1996 poll but was up from 13% in 1991 and 9% in 1986, the release said.

Common workplace troublemaker personalities include, according to Accountemps:

  • The Laughing Hyena -This personality type finds everything funny – especially her own jokes. She’s not aware that her voice carries and can be heard many cubicles away.
  • The Ghost Employee – There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a staff member you can never find. Whether out on official business or not, some people seem perpetually away from the office and turn up only rarely for meetings and group events.
  • The Witch’s Brewer – It’s hard for people to concentrate on their work when they’re overcome by the smell of someone’s microwave popcorn or reheated dinner.
  • The Office Spook – This type relishes scaring coworkers – especially new ones – about the hardships of working at your business. Painting the boss as a fire-breathing ogre and spreading other tales of woe are this person’s specialty.