In a recent survey conducted by AI-based career tool Kickresume, the most irritating workplace behaviours have been revealed.

With responses from 2,894 participants, the research aimed to uncover these annoying behaviours and how individuals can manage them professionally and productively.

The findings reveal that a staggering 85 percent of employees have had at least one annoying colleague, with 58 percent stating that such behaviours significantly impact their productivity. The most grating types of coworkers, according to the survey, include:

  • Credit Stealer: 33%
  • Micromanager: 32%
  • Chronic Complainer: 30%
  • Personal Space Intruder: 30%
  • Lunch Thief: 27%

Peter Duris, CEO of Kickresume, commented on the survey results, saying, “People often avoid direct confrontation, which shows that many workplaces might lack good communication training and conflict resolution resources. Fixing these issues could make employees happier and create a more supportive work environment. Our findings are quite concerning, so we want to highlight the importance of creating a harmonious workplace where these behaviours are addressed. This could involve diplomatically making staff aware of how their actions affect the team. Doing this will help build a more united, friendly, and efficient workplace.”

The working environment plays a role

The environment in which these behaviours are experienced also plays a role in employee sentiment. For example, 62 percent of respondents have faced irritating behaviours in the workplace directly. In hybrid or remote working settings, 44 percent found their colleagues annoying through emails and Slack messages, 29 percent through video calls, and 37 percent through phone calls.

Interestingly, 53 percent of employees engaged in hybrid work—both remote and in-person—believe that this setup minimises encounters with annoying colleagues. However, 33 percent of Gen Z employees, who are presumably more tech-savvy and may have started their careers during the pandemic, feel that digital working has increased unpleasant behaviours.

How can you deal with annoying colleagues?

Regarding strategies for dealing with annoying colleagues, 41 percent of respondents wish they could express their true feelings directly to the offending coworker, while 32 percent hope to distance themselves. Another 9 percent admitted to likely being passive-aggressive. For those considering more drastic measures, 11 percent wish their coworker would be fired, and 5 percent even harboured violent thoughts.

Among those who actively deal with annoying colleagues, the most common approach is to directly ask the coworker to stop the behaviour. Additionally, 12 percent vent to other colleagues, and another 12 percent report the issue to management or HR.

To address these dynamics, the survey suggests implementing better communication practices and conflict resolution techniques for staff, both in-person and online. Regular check-ins and adequate training for managing remote and hybrid working environments are also recommended to streamline work dynamics and reduce friction among colleagues.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.