Top ten office irritations

1. Slow IT systems (68%)

That's right. The top tantrum-inducer is the classic war against technology. Be it the spinning wheel of doom, the blue screen of death, or the frozen mouse of mayhem, over two thirds of you find your computer to be the biggest source of stress.

2. Print delays caused by jams (42%)

One of the good things about the 'paperless office' movement (aside from the whole environment thing), is that this printing peeve will be bypassed completely. We've all been there. Waiting for a document to print. Seeing that blinking red light. The flare of rage. The hour spent trying to pull out a slither of crunched paper from the printer's innards. Then finally, the wave of anger that flows over you as a mountain of the culprit's documents print before yours.

3. Unnecessary email traffic (39%)

Spam can be hilarious on a slow day. You can tickle your colleagues with the appalling grammar and spelling on that email from Svetlana, the Russian beauty who craves your love. The rest of the time, however, spam and unsolicited email is just a headache. Newsletters seem to multiply faster than amoeba. For over a third of office workers, unwanted email is the grisly of all bugbears.

4. Colleagues talking too loudly on their phones (34%)

Does everyone remember that Dom Joly sketch? "I'm on a bus!?" he screeched into a giant handset. "Can you hear me?!" Substitute the 'bus' for the 'office' and you've gone some way to understanding the pain of these office workers, ears assailed by inane conversations, unable to escape.

5. Colleague leaving the printer tray empty (27%)

If it's not jammed, the printer is invariably hungry. These greedy little gadgets gobble reams of paper like there's no deforestation crisis. And why is the paper never kept next to the printer?

6. Annoying mobile ring tones (23%)

The trend for Crazy Frog ringtones may have passed, thankfully, but there is still a proliferation of dreadful dirges out there. If your colleague insists on have the worst ringtone in the world, remember this small comfort: a quarter of all office workers are enduring the same hell.

7. Being told to re-boot by IT support (20%)

"Turn it off and turn it on again."

"But what if I lose the document?"

"Turn it off and turn it on again."

"Oh. Okay"


"Argh! It's gone!"

8. Eating smelly food in the office (19%) / IT not working in meetings (19%)

At joint #8 on the list, smelly food and workshy IT folk. Why some people feel the urge to reheat their three-day-old fish curry and kidney bean melange in the microwave on the hottest day of summer in a windowless office, we'll never know. As for the IT issue, hell, if no one understand what you did, you might be tempted to slack.

9./10. Colleagues that never offer to make tea/ coffee (12%)

The tea round has been a sticking point in offices since cavemen first started holding board meetings around the stump. There was always one cave dweller tasked with making all the stewed twig juice. It simply wasn't fair. These days, as beverages get all the more complex (mine's a de-caf double mochaccino with essence of vanilla pod and a cinnamon on the side, please), it's vital that everyone takes their turn.

What's your biggest office gripe? Tell us in the comment box below.

We use cookies to create the most secure and effective website possible for our customers. Full details can be found here