What are Your Office Etiquette Pet Peeves?


Office etiquette rules! Yet when bad design, bad manners and inconsiderate behaviour break all those rules, life in the office can turn into a nightmare!

Usually, when small irritations build up into major grievances over time, it can stop others from getting on with their job. That’s when it’s time to do something positive.

What are some of the most common office pet peeves? Here are ours, with advice on how to fix them.

  1. Noisy Neighbours

Noise travels fast. For instance, chattering loudly with a colleague while others are working quietly is intrusive.

On top of this, if the office layout has one noisy department positioned next to another which prefers quiet, this spells trouble.

Our Advice: Use communal and break-out areas for conversations with colleagues during working hours. Meeting rooms are also there for group discussions. If you’re one of the ones getting frustrated with the noise, it always helps to grab five minutes of fresh air to unwind.

  1. Office Odours

Here we’re talking everything from personal hygiene and whiffy perfume to pungent food smells which waft across the office.

Our Advice: Have a non-eating-at-desks policy. With the right breakout facilities in place, it’ll encourage staff to have a proper break too.

  1. Lack of Loos

If your team are having to queue around corners to use the WC facilities, it’s time to make sure comfort breaks are not a daily torment.

Our Advice: Make sure you stay within the law. Here’s some useful advice…

  1. Chair Stealing

Office workers can be territorial about their chairs. Set at the right height, it can be infuriating to find that someone’s stolen your beloved chair… again!

Our Advice: Make sure there are plenty of informal meeting spaces and breakout zones with comfy sofas and chairs.

  1. Too Hot or Too Cold

The most common complaint amongst office staff? Office temperature. The problem is that we all have different comfort zones. For some, a cold office environment is heaven, while to others excessive coldness (or heat) grinds their productivity levels to a halt.

Our Advice: Aside from making sure staff who hate cold conditions are not sitting under an air conditioning outlet, you could introduce a dummy control facility and let the placebo effect take the strain.

  1. Lift Etiquette

Squashing into a crowded lift and immediately trying to start a conversation about the weather is a no-no.

Our Advice: The trick is to avoid invading anyone’s personal space. Better still, take the stairs!

  1. Email Overload

There’s nothing more time-zapping than a full inbox, especially when you’ve dozens of emails to wade through.

Our Advice: Use a smart app such as https://slack.com/to keep important messages in one place. Think before hitting the ‘reply to all’ icon at all costs. Keep email personal.

  1. Politics

Office politics can be one of the biggest distractions and causes of arguments…

Our Advice: Avoid getting dragged into heated arguments. Use headphones to blot out noise if it’s off-putting.

  1. Private Calls

Taking private calls during the working day is fine if an emergency. If it’s a long catch-up with a friend – stopping you from work and disturbing people nearby – this is usually frowned upon.

Our Advice: Keep personal calls to a minimum, aiming to speak away from the desk in private. Respecting others around you will earn you respect.

  • Dirty Dishes

If a breakout area is littered with half-full coffee cups, bowls, empty crisp packets and the like, it’ll fast become a mess!

Our Advice: Clean up after yourself…