Drama in the kitchen is the leading cause for co-workers to fall out, a survey has revealed.
The study by AppliancesDirect.co.uk showed that 67% have fallen out with a colleague over kitchen cleanliness, washing and food disputes in the last 12 months. Another gripe, irritating just over half of those surveyed, was loud talkers in the office, while lateness and poor time-keeping skills frustrated 45%.
While offensive smells like body odour, coffee breath and stale cigarettes make up 37% of workplace woes, a majority of employees will ignore and avoid confrontation, with just 15% directly addressing another worker’s behaviour. Meeting them halfway, around a third will leave notes or send passive aggressive emails instead of dealing face-to-face, but the trends change with younger generations. Members of staff between the ages of 18 and 24 were most likely to directly deal with a colleague to resolve issues.
Employees in high-stress environments and industries with typically big personalities tend to be more likely to get involved in workplace spats, with those working in financial services, IT, healthcare and education topping the most volatile atmospheres. AppliancesDirect believes that peace at work can be very delicate, with the smallest upsets quickly escalating, especially when dealing with hungry employees.
“The office is a place for productivity, although the research shows that things can boil over, especially when it comes to kitchen etiquette,” said Mark Kelly, marketing manager at AppliancesDirect. “A harmonious workplace can be disrupted by small stresses, with the data showing those in typically more pressured industries and environments have a higher level of frustration, and lower patience threshold.”