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Top 20 most annoying things about being back in the office

As millions have returned to their workplaces, a new nationwide poll has revealed the things which are already driving us crazy about being back.

And top of the list was the deeply unfair act of someone else taking credit for your idea (37 percent), with the heinous act of nicking a colleague’s lunch from the fridge coming in second place (36 percent).

People gossiping via messenger while you are all sitting in the same office (30 percent), and people who sign off work emails with kisses (30 percent) all featured high in the list of annoyances.

As did those who do not put deodorant on before work (31 percent), and people who bring smelly lunches into the office (25 percent).

24 percent said it winds them up when colleagues tell everyone in the workplace about their sex life in intimate detail (24 percent).

The study, by insights agency Perspectus Global also found that a third of women (33 percent), and a quarter of men (25 agreed) agreed it was unacceptable for females to be called terms like ‘chick’, ‘babe’ and ‘hun’ by their male co-workers – a finding that is interesting in light of the recent tribunal during which a judge deemed such name calling as sexist and demeaning to women.

And Covid seems to have taken its toll on our expectations of colleague behaviour, with almost a quarter (24 percent) of the 1,500 Britons polled saying that not sanitising your hands before entering the workplace was a big no no, and more than a fifth (22 percent) claiming that coming to work with a cough or cold was completely unacceptable.

The blurred lines between work and home life seem to have prompted some of the other items of the list, with messaging colleagues late at night or first thing in the morning about work (23 percent) and using a social app like whatsapp to send work related texts (13 percent) also featuring.

But the classic work faux pas, such as asking a long winded question at the end of a very long meeting (21 percent), unnecessarily copying in your boss when emailing a colleague (18 percent) also made the list.


  1. People who take credit for someone else’s idea – 37%
  2. People who take someone else’s food from the fridge – 36%
  3.  Colleagues who are “off sick” all the time but are seen out socialising – 35%
  4.  People who don’t put deodorant before work – 31%
  5. People who put kisses at the end of work emails – 30%
  6. Colleagues who gossip via text/email while they are sitting in the same room – 30%
  7. Men calling women terms like ‘babe’, ‘hun’ and ‘love’ – 29%
  8. Someone at work telling you all about their dream – 28%
  9.  People who moan constantly about the job – 28%
  10.  People who make up rude nicknames for others – 27%
  11. When colleagues bring in smelly lunches to the office  – 25%
  12.  When people don’t sanitise their hands when entering the workplace – 24%
  13. Those who tell everyone in the office about their sex life in great detail – 24%
  14.  When your boss texts you late at night or first thing in the morning about work – 23%
  15. When people come to work with a cough/ cold – 22%
  16.  People who don’t pull their weight for the office tea round – 21%
  17.  Colleagues who eat loudly during meetings – 21%
  18.  When people ask a question right at the end of a really long meeting – 21%
  19.  Those who unnecessarily copy the boss into every email – 18%
  20.  People who announce they are going to the loo – 16%