These are the top 50 gripes for office workers in Scotland

Scotland’s office workers have revealed their top workplace gripes, including noisy conversations, colleagues coming in ill, and a lack of natural light.

A survey of more than 150 office-based staff found many loathe spillages in the microwave being left to fester, colleagues invading personal space – and computers running at a snail’s pace.

But nearly a third (31 per cent) have been quick to make their feelings known by either leaving a passive-aggressive note or sending an office-wide email.

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    Cigarette butts scattered outside, a mess being left in the loos and the state of communal lunch areas are the top reasons why workers feel compelled to call out their peers.

    But while 38 per cent reported their messages were successful in stopping what they deem to be poor office etiquette, for 58 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 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.

    “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 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


    The study also found 32 per cent of the Scotland’s office workers have confronted a colleague about their poor conduct in the workplace – with 47 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.

    Getting work done quickly so they can leave earlier ranked as the most common way workers counteract their annoyances.

    While 21 per cent put on their headphones and listen to music to avoid irritations, and 22 per cent will just dodge visiting the office as much as possible.

    In fact, 38 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 Scotland’s white-collar workers are pretty fed-up with what is going on around them between 9 and 5.


    “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 Scotland

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