Survey: Gossip Tops the List of Employees' Workplace Annoyances

October 29, 2007 ( - Gossip in the workplace ranked as the number one pet peeve among employees, followed by other person's poor time management skills and messiness in communal spaces, a recent survey by Randstad USA found.

According to the survey of about 2,400 individuals, 60% list gossip as their greatest pet peeve, 54% say other people’s time management skills and 45% say they are most annoyed with messiness in places that are meant to be communal.

The other pet peeves listed by employees were:

  • Potent scents, 42%
  • Loud noises, 41%
  • Overuse of electronic personal communications devices in meetings, 28% and
  • Misuse of email, 22%.

Though gossip was listed at the top of employees pet peeves, workers responded that they are more likely to say something directly to the person(s) involved about loud noises (42%) and messiness in communal spaces (38%) than say something directly to those who gossip (34%).

Employees said they are least likely to address gossip with their boss (8%), and 41% said they would do nothing, perhaps solidifying their distaste for idle chatter.

Employees annoyance with other s misuse of email is less likely to be addressed by saying something directly to the person(s) involved (25%) and the more likely to be ignored (41%) by an irritated employee.

Employees are most willing to go to their supervisor to deal with others poor time management skills (20%).