We spend a lot of time with our co-workers, which gives them plenty of chances to do something that may annoy us. Whether it’s taking a phone call during a meeting or warming up that smelly lunch, there are lots of things coming from the next cube that may drive us crazy each day. Scott Bea is a clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. He says he’s not surprised that “complaining” is near the top of the list.
"Here’s the funny statistic. 70% of American conversations are complaints anyway, so if we just listen up around the office we’re likely to hear some complaints about the working environment or co-workers."
Along with complaining, saying "excuse me" in response to every comment or question, sit near the top of the list of annoying workplace habits. Bare feet at work also seems to get under the skin of co-workers, as does interrupting.
Dr. Bea said, "By research we know that certain anxious people are prone to interrupt. People with a condition called generalized anxiety disorder actually interrupt pretty routinely. It’s typically that they feel they have a thing on their mind that is so urgent they just have to get it out."
Reheating last night’s salmon in the microwave is another big one. Smelly food is tough to tolerate in a shared space. But it’s loud talking and whispering that people seem to hate the most. Dr. Bea says co-workers should find healthier ways to communicate.
"If it's loud talking, people might feel interrupted by the loudness. If it's soft talking, people might get suspicious that you're whispering about them."
People especially hate it when they catch their boss whispering. Other habits making the list include: co-workers who correct people too much, micro-managing, and chewing gum with your mouth open.