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Noisy eaters and messy colleagues annoy office workers

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So what is the top office space gripe among UK workers?

According to a new study commissioned by Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup, noisy eating in the office really gets under the skin of employees.

More than 57 per cent of workers surveyed by the firm said this was the most annoying trait among their co-workers.

Next on the list was messy colleagues (32 per cent), with many workers eager to keep the office environment spic and span where possible.

Another major bugbear – cited by 27 per cent of survey respondents – is when employees use crockery and cutlery but fail to wash up after each themselves.

This was another of the food-related gripes recorded by the survey, which offers insight into the things that wind office workers up on a daily basis.

Bringing smelly food into the office (26 per cent), lateness (26 per cent), and a failure to listen (25 per cent) were also highlighted as being key concerns.

Also raised as a common annoyance was people talking over conversation (23 per cent).

David Cherrie, marketing controller of Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup, said it was interesting to see that food-related bugbears featured so prominently in the list.

He noted that many people are less concerned about ‘professional’ annoyances such as not being listened to, and being talked over.

“We’re all too cowardly to confront each other, meaning our working relationships could be suffering over what are basically poor table manners,” Mr Cherrie stated.

Employers may wish to bear this point in mind, and consider reminding their workers about appropriate codes of behaviour in the office.

Creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable can help ensure all workers are able to work to the best of their ability.