Annoying Coworkers: Nearly 40% of Employees have Switched Jobs because of Them

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Heather Lavender, Negosentro |  With a 40 hour work week becoming the norm at most companies, most people are spending just about the same if not more time with their coworkers than their friends and families. Because of this coworkers are going to get on our nerves.  New workplace trends data from Olivet Nazarene University found that nearly 40% of employees have switched jobs at one point in the their career largely because of annoying coworkers.

They surveyed 2,000 Americans about annoyances in the workplace and found that the number one source of tension in the workplace is from interpersonal relationships. The survey data found that 100% of the respondents (yes you read that right) get annoyed while at work.  While it might not be totally surprising to see that number so high, some of the other data points are more telling.  Take for example the fact that they survey data showed that 73% of respondents are regularly annoyed by anywhere from 2-5 coworkers. Professionals in the healthcare and insurance industries tend to have the highest number of annoying coworkers.

The survey asked a series of questions around what exactly about your coworkers annoys you the most? Here are the top results:

  • 49% said loudness and complaining was the most annoying
  • 32% said gossip and bullying
  • 12% mentioned their bathroom or eating habits
  • 6% mentioned email or meeting habits
  • 1% brought up personal hygiene

They even went so far to ask about the name of the coworker that annoys you the most at work.  The top 3 names for both female and males are listed below


  1. Sarah
  2. Jessica
  3. Lisa


  1. John
  2. Mike
  3. Mark

Many people get annoyed by coworkers but do many actually confront those coworkers about their annoying behaviors? The survey data found that 78% of Americans have actually confronted a coworker over their annoying behaviors. Baby boomers however, are least likely to directly confront their coworker and most likely to speak to their boss.  What are the top ways that people are confronting their annoying coworkers?

  • 47% confronted through another colleague
  • 30% confronted directly
  • 18% confronted through a boss or supervisor
  • 2% confronted through human resources
  • 3% actually confronted by involving the entire office in the confrontation

It’s slightly surprising to see the wide variety of ways that people are confronting their coworkers about their behavior in the office.

One positive trend that the survey found is that despite the fact that we are frequently annoyed by our coworkers, we are not extremely to change jobs because of it. Only 18% of the surveyed respondents stated that their annoying coworkers were so bad to work with that they would consider finding a new job because of it and only 36% actually followed through on doing so. At the end of the day, putting up with people that we might be annoyed with is a part modern day work life. Those who choose to take the high road, might find themselves in the company of less annoying coworkers. You can see the full study from Olivet Nazarene University here.



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