UK employees dislike work colleagues more than their boss

Dislikeable work colleagues, who are noisy, annoying and even steal from the office fridge top the list of workplace grumbles, according to a survey of 650 UK workers.

The YouGov survey named fellow colleagues more annoying than old or slow technology, uncomfortable office temperatures and even rude or over-friendly bosses*.

The UK’s top 10 office grumbles are:

Dislikeable work colleagues; Slow or old technology; Uncomfortable temperature; Dislikeable bosses; Poor facilities; Poor lighting; Inadequate office space; Poor office location; Inadequate desk space; Poor décor and furniture

Generationally, it seems that millennials (aged between 25-32) have the most to grumble about. Over half (54 per cent) of millennials find their colleagues dislikeable. In comparison only 36 per cent of those aged 45-54 dislike colleagues, indicating that older workers are more tolerant of their younger colleagues. Old technology and dislikeable bosses also score highly on millennials list of grumbles, with half (50 per cent) moaning about them. In comparison, only a third of 18-25 year olds listed old technology as an issue, and 30 per cent disliked their boss.

Millennials, more than any other age group, were also more discontented with: desk space (29 per cent), facilities (42 per cent), poor office location (30 per cent) and poor décor and furniture (25 per cent). Out of all of the working age ranges from 18 – 65, millennials moan about each of the top ten grumbles the most.

Simon Gammell, Managing Director at Crown Workspace, commented,

At first glance there doesn’t appear to be much that can be done about annoying work colleagues, but looking at how your office space is divided can help enormously. Employers could think about creating different working environments to match different personality types – quiet areas for those who work best on their own, open plan and shared desk spaces for those who like to collaborate, can help to minimise annoyance amongst employees.

Bosses should think about flexible areas such as relaxing sofas where you can kick off your shoes, put your feet up and work. Or kitchen areas that encourage employees to get away from their desks, with shared informal spaces. Employers also need to look at implementing different types of meeting areas – whether that’s bar stools and high tables in the kitchen, through to small spaces where private calls can be made.

When it comes to differences between the sexes the research found that women hate uncomfortable temperatures (45 per cent vs 39per cent) and poor lighting (31per cent vs 22per cent) more than men.

Across the country however, it looks like those in London and the East of England are the least happy with their working environments than anywhere else. Workers in these regions were more disgruntled about all of the top ten grumbles than anywhere else in the country. Conversely those in the South West are much happier with their office space, scoring grumbles much lower than the national averages.

*survey conducted on behalf of Crown Workspace


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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!

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