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[Infographic] Top Office Pet Peeves


Do you want to know what really gets someone’s goat in the office? Professional social network LinkedIn recently released some data about the top office pet peeves that really annoy professionals.

The country with the most pet peeves is India and the one with the fewest is Italy. Singapore came in a close second after India, at number two out of the 16 countries represented in the survey. Other countries include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the U.K.

In Singapore, a survey of nearly 1,000 professionals revealed the top three office pet peeves are: 1. People not taking ownership for their actions, 2. Dirty common areas (such as a dirty communal microwave or refrigerator), and 3. Constant complainers. Yes, we’re complaining about complainers.

Not surprisingly, there are interesting cultural differences across countries and cultures, such as:

  • Americans get more irritated than other nationals by co-workers taking others’ food from the office refrigerator.
  • Brazilians are the most annoyed of any national group by excessive gossiping.
  • Indians react more negatively to irritating mobile phone ringtones.
  • Japanese are more peeved by office pranks than others.

There were gender differences in the findings as well – for example, 57 percent of Singaporean women were bothered by “clothing that’s too revealing for the workplace,” while 29 percent of Singaporean men surveyed found that to be a problem. No, really? The Swedish are found to be the most tolerant of what others wear in the workplace, but there is still a gender split: revealing clothing irritates 35 percent of the women in Sweden, but only 12 percent of the men.

And yes, everybody hates an irresponsible colleague. “Some of the seemingly harmless workplace habits, such as people not taking ownership for actions can result in conflicts in the workplace,” says Chan Ngee Key, career coach and strategist at career consultancy service YourOwn360. “Most of these can be easily resolved. For example, taking ownership is not just about doing your task well, but also about ensuring that your whole team works collaboratively. Always put yourself in the shoes of your coworkers to recognize how changing some habits will help create a more favorable impression of you in the workplace.”

Here’s an infographic of the top office pet peeves: