TAFEP Hero 2023 June
human resources online

How many annoying coworkers do you have?


Even though workplace annoyances happen for almost everyone researchers at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois found that it is usually contained to only a few coworkers.

Researchers from the university surveyed 2000 workers across the US to find the source of workplace irritations.

The website workplace insight published the findings that said, "only 2% of respondents claim to find 10 or more of their coworkers irritating." With most people saying it was usually less than five.

The industries with the most annoying coworkers were healthcare and insurance. Over a third (40%) of people working in fashion/art and retail said to be annoyed regularly. Meanwhile, respondents working in communications and media were found to have the most gossipy workplaces because they are such people-centric industries.

What were the most annoying things that people found? Almost half (48%) said loudness and complaining and 31% said gossiping and bullying.

Researchers found that over three-quarters (78%) of respondents confront annoying coworkers. Nearly half of which (47%) asked another coworker to intervene on their behalf, 30% said they approached the coworker directly and 18% asked a boss or supervisor for help. While 71% said they had been approached themselves by a coworker for being annoying, the majority of which were men(65%) and 35% were women.

The study showed some other interesting results like 3% of people would rather involve the entire office in the matter than bring it to the attention of the human resources department, only 2% said they approached HR to intervene. Regardless, 70% said they felt like the issue was never resolved, 18% of respondents said that annoying coworkers led them to consider getting a new job while 36% of those did.

ALSO READ: How to deal with the five most annoying types of employees

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