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Office pet hates drives to distraction

As we all know, working in an office means sharing a space with people who may not share your views on what is and isn’t appropriate for the workplace.

A new survey of over 6,000 Australian employees has revealed the top ten annoying habits in the office. The smell of hot food tops the list, while poor personal hygiene is a close second.

Edward Mallett, managing director of Employsure, said that while some pet peeves may seem comical, they can have a significant impact on employee productivity.

“Annoying habits lead to bad workplace relations, and ultimately cause conflict in the workplace. Employees are all individuals and in that respect it is only natural for each person to have their individual quirks and customs, however think about the impact on your fellow colleagues,” Mallett said.

Leaving the kitchen area in a mess and colleagues taking another’s possessions without asking also made the top ten, while office gossip is another common annoyance.

A recent poll from Employment Office also found that 63 per cent of employees believe an office chatterbox has taken a chat a step too far in the past, negatively impacting productivity and fostering resentment among co-workers.

Tudor Marsden-Huggins, managing director of Employment Office, said that there must be boundaries between co-workers.

“Friendly banter is great to build workplace culture, however there’s a point where there’s too much talking and not enough working,” he said.

Marsden-Huggins believes it’s up to workers and managers to judge what amount of chatter is appropriate before it reaches a level that affects productivity.

“We don’t want employees to be working in a non-speaking environment, as this can also be counterproductive. Every situation is different… but a manager needs to be in touch with their team, knowing just the point at which chat stops being something that energises the team and turns into something that actually drains workers,” he said.

Mallett agreed that every worker is responsible for making sure colleagues are aware that they might be stepping over the line, but also believes there’s only so much that can be fixed.

“All workers have just as big a part to play as their employer in ensuring such habits are minimised. Annoying office habits are very much a serious workplace issue, and with open plan offices on the increase, it seems we’ll all have to contend with people’s bad habits for some time to come,” he said.

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Gina Baldassarre

Gina Baldassarre

Gina is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She enjoys learning to ice skate and collecting sappy inspirational quotes.

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