To paraphrase philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: hell is other people trapped in an office together all day long, at least according to the results of a new survey by career site Zety.
The survey asked more than 1,000 American employees what drives them up the cubicle wall, how irritating those situations are and how often they happen. To whittle down 28 common office pet peeves to a top 10 list, Zety used what it calls a tilt factor, multiplying the perceived annoyance level with reported frequency. To the surprise of no one who has ever worked in an office, seven of the top 10 peeves involved the behaviour of colleagues.
The No. 1 irritant was co-workers coming to work sick. According to the survey, the remaining top nine irritants, in order were: malfunctioning hardware or a slow computer; co-workers coming in late or leaving early; co-workers not washing their hands before leaving the bathroom; people arranging meetings to discuss things that could have been said in an email; a printer being jammed or broken; co-workers chatting with each other, or on the phone, in a shared room; slow WiFi; co-workers texting and/or browsing social media during work hours; and too many meetings.
The survey also found there are gender and generational divides when it comes to how annoyed people get by office irritants. The men surveyed reported higher levels of annoyance for 25 out of 28 pet peeves, while generation Zers and millennials reported higher annoyance levels than generation Xers and baby boomers for 26 out of the 28 pet peeves.