Poor choice of workplace music costing UK businessesResearch released today has found that 10.39 minutes of productivity are lost per worker every single day, by Brits who are distracted by irritated by their colleagues choice of music in the workplace.

With 253 working days in 2019, this works out as 44 hours per year, or 5.84 working days. Taking into consideration the 32.53 million people that are employed in the UK, over 190 million days of productivity are forfeited due to office acoustics.

Noisy colleagues result in 17 minutes of lost time, and affect millennials more than any other age group – 25-34-year olds say loud co-workers result in them losing an average of 20 minutes of productivity per day.

The study of over 2,000 employed Brits by Yell also found that being cold at work is the nation’s biggest office pet peeve by 23 per cent of British workers, and affects more women (28 per cent) than men (18 per cent). Also, frustrating for one in five (20 per cent) UK workers is poor internet connection, while an unclean workspace aggravates 18 per cent.

Other grievances include heat (17 per cent), colleagues talking too loudly (14 per cent), a cluttered workspace (14 per cent), colleagues eating smelly food (12 per cent), faulty electronic equipment (11 per cent) and untidy colleagues (10 per cent).

When it comes to time lost due to workplace annoyances, poor internet connection costs workers an average of 20 minutes of productivity per day, while faulty electronic equipment leads to 19 minutes of lost time. A hot workplace also cost 19 minutes, while a cold workplace costs 16 minutes. Smelly food costs 7 minutes per worker per day, so a team of 10 people could lose six hours a week in productivity due to a colleague eating a smelly lunch.

Mark Clisby, CMO of Yell, said,

While it can be difficult to get the right balance at work, it’s important that harmony is achieved to ensure your team is productive. Remind colleagues to consider each other – for example, before putting on your favourite playlist or radio station, ask those in the same room if they are happy with your choice. When reaching for the aircon, check how the temperature feels for the rest of the team, and perhaps remove a jumper instead of turning it down a few degrees.

Interested in workplace wellbeing? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for Prospects.ac.uk.

Aphrodite is also a professional painter.