Ever felt like you’ll snap if you hear a colleague complain about their spouse one more time? Perhaps you dream about giving your desk neighbour a lesson or two in how to chew with their mouth closed? Or maybe the sheer thought of a waiting for a webpage to load makes your blood boil? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
According to the latest research commissioned by electronics giant Samsung, all three of these gripes ranked among the top complaints cited by British office workers. The survey drew on insight from 1000 nine-to-fivers working for British SMEs employing less than 250 people. All were asked to name their biggest workplace annoyances, with results offering fascinating insight into what really gets gears grinding.
Technology ranks as top workplace grievance
Moaning and noisy eating were identified as two of the biggest qualms, though both were outranked by issues with technology. A huge 92% of respondents cited crashing computers and slow internet speeds as major exasperations, maintaining that they result in almost half an hour of lost working time per day. Temperature was pegged as another bigtime offender, with 82% of respondents identifying over or under air-conditioned offices as a major hindrance.
Frustrated employees costing companies almost six hours a week
As a result of day-to-day office irritations, Samsung estimates that workers waste five and a half hours per week. For businesses, this represents major financial and productivity losses, particularly for companies with large employee portfolios. Staff retention is another major issue, with almost a third of surveyed respondents admitting that they had quit a job on account of an irritating co-worker. 20% threw in the towel because of the workplace environment itself, while 10% sought out new employment because of technology frustrations.
Are office grumbles holding the UK back?
Experts were quick to comment on the survey, which was commissioned by British-based consultancy, Censuswide. Sir Cary Cooper, a University of Manchester professor specialising in workplace issues, comments that identifying and addressing office gripes could play an important role in boosting the British economy.
“This is a big issue for the UK as it currently sits 7th in the G7 and 17th in the G20 on productivity per person, showing that these distractions could be causing a big impact.”
So what else is infuriating British employees? Limited access to email is a big offender in the technology department, while incessant interrupting joined moaning and noisy eating as a major colleague related complaint. From an environmental perspective, uncomfortable seating and a messy workplace were pegged as two issues that get staff seething.
Is it time you moved to a new office?
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