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Crashing computers and phone calls at 4.59pm – biggest office bugbears

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Being copied in to emails that don’t concern you and the phone ringing at one minute to five have been named as the biggest office bugbears, a study has revealed. Researchers revealed other common complaints of the nation’s work force include the air con making the office too cold, colleagues speaking loudly on the phone and the company providing cheap branded teabags.

Co-workers nicking your favourite mug, car parking politics and an uncomfortable chair were also on the list of workers’ complaints according to the poll of 2000 workers.

It’s hardly surprising then that well over half of those polled said they had hundreds of little grievances in their workplace that drove them around the bend.

Tatjana Trposka for animal welfare charity The Brooke, who conducted the poll to mark World Donkey Week and the plight of hard-working donkeys, said:

“We can all relate to the grumbles in this list.

“Being copied in to emails that don’t concern you or having your computer crash when you’re finishing some important work can be the peak of frustration for UK workers.

“But these aren’t called ‘first-world’ problems for nothing.

“Our research brings home the fact that no matter how annoying our work life can be, it doesn’t compare with the hardship suffered by working animals around the world today.

“While we complain that our offices are too cold, there are horses and donkeys slaving away in 60 degree heat without the luxury of medical insurance or hourly tea breaks

“A heavy work load for working donkeys is carrying half their own body weight on their back all day long to help their owners earn a modest living.”

The study found 39% of workers admitted they let silly little things get to them, with company ‘bigwigs’ more likely to irritate us than office juniors.

Smells seem to be a common gripe for office workers with many complaining of co-workers with BO, bad breath and smelly lunches.

A brave 18% of people have even confronted a colleague about their bad habits – but did so in a ‘jokey’ way – and for 12% it’s become a running joke.

Aside from the trivial criticisms, more serious complaints included lack of pay rises, no appreciation and too heavy a work load.

A quarter of people said they hate it when team mates come in late and leave early and a miserable one in ten hate it when people sing all day.

One in five said the most annoying trait a colleague could possess is never admitting they are wrong and those that make a drama out of everything.

Tatjana Trposka added:

“These survey results show that in the grand scheme of things, we don’t have it that bad.

“World Donkey Week reminds us how tough working conditions can really be.

“The Brooke works with communities to help them better understand the welfare needs of their working animals so they have a better working life.

“We hope this study will encourage people to appreciate how fortunate they are in their day-to-day working lives and spare a thought for the hardworking animals around the world who don’t have a say.”


Being copied in to emails that aren’t relevant to me
The phone ringing at 1 minute to 5
Computer crashing
Air con making the office too cold
The printer breaking down
Colleagues that smell of BO
Loud telephone voices
People chatting too much
People not cleaning the microwave after use
People sniffing
People reading emails over your shoulder
Running out of toilet roll and not replacing it
Colleagues not saying thanks when you hold the door open for them
People with bad breath
Anyone that says ‘blue sky thinking’
Inconsiderate parking
Co-workers’ smelly lunches
Uncomfortable chair
Those that book school holidays off really far in advance
Your boss catching you on Facebook for 1 minute when you have been manic all day
Your company blocking you from certain websites
People in the car park blocking you in
The company providing cheap teabags
Colleagues moaning about personal life
Co-workers who constantly boast about their children
Diet bores who constantly talk about their food
Colleagues that are younger than you telling you what to do
People pinching your lunch out of the fridge
Those that leave empty wrappers in the tin of sweets
Incessant birthday cake and sweet treats
The vending machine stealing your money
Colleagues not making tea
Colleagues using work phones row with their partner
Someone using your mug
No one refilling the stapler
Co-workers who constantly text at their desk
Queuing for the microwave
Co-workers who leave at 5 on the dot
Colleagues leaving the toilet seat up
The lift breaking down
Not enough plug sockets
Fire alarm going off when you’re on the phone
Colleagues describing their dreams in exact detail when they come in
Colleagues singing
People who chew pens
Having to stretch over desks to answer a colleague’s phone
Clients turning up early for meetings
People not chatting enough
People forever stealing your favourite pen
The water cooler being too far away


Blames everyone for mistakes
Come in late and go early
Never admit being wrong
Makes a drama out of everything
Sucks up to the boss
Take credit for others’ work
Make personal calls
Slags everyone off behind their back
Never make a tea round
Hand over complicated work
Never listens when you talk to them
Takes time off sick with minor ailments
Whistle all day
Sing all day
Has poor personal hygiene
Have earphones plugged in all day
Never chip in for birthday presents
Get drunk at office parties
Books up all the school holidays first
Always calls you when you are on holiday