These are the 50 gripes for office workers in the North West

Office workers in the North West have revealed their top workplace gripes, including arduous IT issues, colleagues coming in ill, and microwave spillages being left to fester.

A survey of more than 200 office-based staff from North West of England found many loathe the lack of natural light in the workplace, printers getting jammed and colleagues calling in sick – even though they suspect otherwise.

But a third have been quick to make their feelings known by either leaving a passive-aggressive note or sending an office-wide email.

Cigarette butts scattered outside, people helping themselves to items without permission, shambolic parking are among the top reasons why workers feel compelled to call out their peers.

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    But while 64 per cent reported their messages were successful in stopping what they deem to be poor office etiquette, for 33 per cent the problems still persisted.

    Warding off irritating colleagues

    The research was commissioned by The Workplace Depot, who have created a hilarious compilation of passive-aggressive notes and emails to stick up or send around your own office to ward off irritating colleagues.

    A spokesperson for the industrial supplies provider said: “Offices can often be a funny old environment when social norms don’t always translate into those four walls where we spend much of our lives.


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    “And when forced to encounter a multitude of small bothers on an almost daily basis, it is no surprise it drives many to snap.

    “The way many choose to express their displeasure is in the quintessentially British form of the painfully polite passive-aggressive note or email.

    “Yet, these will always have a serious undertone of hostility, which for the reader – or even worse, the culprit – can be quite alarming. Although, often rather amusing too.”

    The right office conduct


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    The study also found 44 per cent of the North West’s office workers have confronted a colleague about their poor conduct in the workplace – with 58 per cent of these claiming this intervention caused them to stop.

    However, four per cent overstepped the mark and even received disciplinary action following the quarrel.

    While 37 per cent have considered leaving their job because of their office bugbears, with more than a tenth (12 per cent) making the leap to a new role.

    Unfortunately, the grass wasn’t always greener as 37 per cent claimed their new place of work was about the same or even worse than what they had left behind.


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    Rarely engaging with colleagues ranked as the most common way workers counteract their annoyances.

    While 23 per cent put on their headphones and listen to music to avoid irritations, and 29 per cent will just dodge visiting the office as much as possible.

    In fact, 42 per cent even admitted they are less productive when they are in the office because of what is winding them up, according to the survey conducted via OnePoll.

    The spokesperson for The Workplace Depot added: “It’s clear from these findings many of the UK’s white-collar workers are pretty fed-up with what is going on around them between 9 and 5.


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    “But like many things in life, if you don’t address the problem, it will only get worse.

    “It is important for these workers to stand up for what they believe is the right conduct for an office – even if that is hiding behind a passive-aggressive note.”

    Top 50 gripes for office workers in the North West

    1. IT issues
    2. Computers being slow
    3. When someone calls in sick when you know they aren't ill
    4. People not cleaning the microwave when their food spills
    5. People coming into work when ill
    6. Smelly toilets
    7. People speaking loudly
    8. Printers breaking down
    9. Someone sucking up to the boss
    10. People who leave dirty dishes in the work sink
    11. Hardly any natural light
    12. Computers crashing
    13. Grubby fingers on shared keyboards/mouse if hot desking
    14. People who take things from my desk without asking
    15. Food left in the fridge which is past its use-by date
    16. Someone cooking smelly food at lunch
    17. Having to talk to people about their weekends/plans even though you don’t care
    18. Hotdesking
    19. Empty milk cartons left in the fridge
    20. People who have conversations right behind your desk
    21. Filthy toilets
    22. The temperature always being too cold
    23. Someone taking my chair while I am away from my desk
    24. People who open the windows without checking with people nearby
    25. The phone ringing constantly
    26. People not putting a new toilet roll on the holder
    27. Having to sit in small meeting rooms with lots of people
    28. People who sing or whistle without realising it
    29. Lunch dishes left lying around on desks
    30. People leaving half eaten food in the fridge/kitchen
    31. People who print reams of paper from the printer
    32. People who get too close when talking to you
    33. People putting food in bins right next to your desk
    34. People who hang up the phone without saying goodbye
    35. People who send passive aggressive emails to the entire office
    36. People leaving dirty towels in shared showers
    37. The temperature always being too hot
    38. Lights left on in rooms unnecessarily
    39. People who now refuse to be part of the tea round
    40. People bragging about how well their work is going
    41. No recycling bins
    42. Not being able to wear comfy clothes
    43. No greenery, like plants
    44. People ‘spreading out’ their desks onto yours
    45. No one ever saying thank you
    46. Fridge being left open
    47. Having to get into a crowded lift
    48. Personal belongings left to gather dust on desks
    49. There never being any parking spaces
    50. Terrible décor