The majority of American workers (77 percent) think that their co-workers could behave better in the workplace and that it is impacting productivity and morale, according to a new Kelton Global study on behalf of National Business Furniture (NBF).
The study, which surveyed adults ages 18+ who are employed full or part time, examines how many workplace do’s and don’ts are not always followed and as a result, how this affects workers’ attitudes, their connectivity with colleagues and their work environment. When asked how improved employee conduct would impact them, 33 percent surveyed say they would want to spend more time at work and 25 percent say they would enjoy work more.
The study found that the following are top workplace pet peeves:
1. Punctuality: Three out of four respondents say that consistently being late to work or meetings tops the list of workplace annoyances.
2. Food Faux Pas: Leaving dirty dishes in a common area is offensive to 77 percent surveyed.
3. Noisy Surroundings: Playing music that’s too loud is unacceptable to 74 percent surveyed; 57 percent believe that having smartphone ringers on for calls, notifications or alerts is annoying and 50 percent say that taking private calls in a shared workstation is objectionable.
4. Taboo Topics: Conversation topics like religion, politics or sexuality should be off-limits at work say 59 percent of respondents. The survey showed 70 percent of American workers believe their co-workers should avoid displaying ‘not suitable for work’ photos.
Too Close for Comfort?
These annoying habits are causing some anxiety for workers. Nearly half said that they don’t feel comfortable and accepted in their workplace, and 25 percent avoid communal work spaces so their colleagues’ behaviours won’t affect them. One out of five (16 percent) say that they work remotely as much as possible to avoid their co-workers’ misconduct.
Co-worker Coping Strategies
According to the study, workers are finding ways to cope with challenging behaviours:
According to the study, making simple design changes to the office can also positively impact morale and behaviour. 26 percent of respondents say that if their workplace was upgraded with fresh paint and some new furniture, attitudes would improve.
“Considering the average person spends one-third of their life at work, it’s important to create an environment that both encourages positive interactions and provides privacy,” said Dean Stier, chief marketing officer for NBF.