Lateness is the most annoying habit to office colleagues, but only a third are prepared to do anything about it, a new study finds.

However, a worrying 40 percent of respondents say that the annoyance made them consider leaving their jobs, and five percent have said they followed through with this decision.

The study, conducted by Viking also found that colleagues who whine all the time were found to be the second most annoying thing in the nation’s offices.

Ruud Linders, marketing manager Europe at Viking, says:

“Close knit environments such as offices can be a hotbed for behavioural differences, and when you throw some of those against differing personalities you can end up with irritated colleagues. I think the key to a happy office is striking a balance between feeling comfortable and tolerating some people’s behaviour – however questionable.”

Misspent time was a key theme among the top five habits on the list of twenty. Excessive smoking breaks and deliberate procrastination took the top positions.

Smelly food in the office was also found to be a major annoying, proving that not everyone is a fan of the fragrant packed lunches.

In terms of a resolution, only a third of respondents were prepared to resolve the issue, and a further 30 percent said they haven’t approached the issue in order to avoid conflict.

The majority said they do not consider leaving their jobs as a viable option, however, 51 percent say they, “didn’t think it was that much of a problem”.

If you were wondering whether gender plays a role in responses, the survey revealed women are more likely to be riled up by an empty toilet role holder, whereas men rank office gossip as one of the top bad habits. When it comes to confrontation, women are more likely to keep quiet and keep the peace.

Annoying habit Rank
Being regularly late 1
Whining all the time 2
Eating stinking food 3
Taking lots of cigarette breaks 4
Deliberately taking a long time to do something/constant procrastination 5
Not replacing things that run out (e.g. printer paper, coffee) 6
Talking on the phone too loudly 7
Having bad hygiene (coffee breath, BO, visibly dirty clothes) 8
Gossiping 9
Spraying deodorants, aftershaves and perfumes at desk 10
Coming to work when very ill 11
Texting/using mobile phone all day 12
Having an untidy desk 13
Talking too much about private life 14
Invading personal space 15
Not making a tea round 16
Humming/whistling/singing 17
Constantly tapping/clicking pens/typing too loud 18
Stealing other people’s food/lunch 19
Using jargon 20