The average worker spends the equivalent of two weeks grumbling – with the top gripes about IT, air con and printers, a study has found.
Researchers say the typical employee will also find time to whine about unnecessary all-staff emails – and uncomfortable chairs.
Other problems which drive staff mad are the temperature of the office,, commuting, people pulling sickies, and a phone call just as you’re about to leave.
Common gripes, which generally take up a total of 20 minutes of the working day, include the amount of junk mail received, being copied into emails that are of no concern and someone stealing a favourite mug.
In addition, irritable Brits can’t stand it when someone smells out the office with stinky food, or turns on the freezing cold air conditioning.
IT issues form a major part of the top 50 list of grumbles – as workers complain about computers which are too slow or crash, printers jamming or breaking down and a bad phone signal.
Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of international animal charity SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries, said: “It’s clear that there’s no shortage of annoyances in the workplace that raise people’s blood pressure on a daily basis.
”From pointless meetings to colleagues who use your favourite mug, these frustrations seem to be part and parcel of office life in Britain.
“It can be hard to keep a sense of perspective at times, but we should remember that most of these irritations are trivial and very minor compared to the tough working lives endured by working animals in developing countries around the world.
“These animals often doing back-breaking, dangerous work with little rest and no holidays or retirement at the end of it. That’s why they desperately need our support.”
The study shows getting a phone call when you’re just about to leave the office is THE biggest grumble.
Others are frustrated by colleagues who are difficult to work with or who suck up to the boss, and also those who take credit for work they didn’t do.
Unrealistic deadlines, ‘meetings about meetings’, office jargon and everyone ignoring a ringing phone can also make work life irritating.
Others moan about their insensitive boss, or those who choose to micro-manage everything.
Embarrassing team building exercises, having to engage in small talk and being asked to desk share are other common complaints.
Researchers also found two thirds of people are most likely to grumble to other colleagues; one in 20 will start moaning the minute they step foot in the office.
Another 15 per cent admitted they ‘whinge all day long’.
But most are unlikely to do anything about their work worries – with more than two thirds owning up to the fact they wouldn’t confront a colleague who was annoying them.
Another six in ten would never say anything about their ‘ridiculous workload’.
Office workers are most likely to make a noise about IT going wrong, with half of those polled complaining about the state of their computer or printer.
Seven in 10 admitted they often feel irritable at work, and 52 per cent say their whole working day can be ruined by just a few ‘bugbears’.
Other factors that affect how good a day is going to be include what the traffic is like on the way in (35 per cent), and how much work there is to do (43 per cent).
A further quarter say their day is affected by whether or not the boss is going to be in, while 27 per cent say how early they wake up can ruin the day ahead.
Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of SPANA, continues: “Without exception, everyone has to contend with problems – however minor – at some point in their careers.
”But many people in the UK aren’t aware about the hard conditions faced by working animals around the world.
“These animals play a vital role in supporting the livelihoods of the world’s poorest families.
”However, despite their importance, their welfare is often neglected. SPANA is working to ensure that working animals have access to veterinary care when they are sick or injured, as well as educating owners about how to best care for their animals.”
TOP 50 OFFICE GRUMBLES
1. Getting a phone call when you’re literally about to leave the office
2. Computers being slow
3. IT issues
4. The temperature being too low/high
5. No air conditioning
6. Computers crashing
7. Printers jamming or breaking down
8. Colleagues who are difficult to work with
9. When someone uses your desk when you’re away and leaves it messy
10. Freezing cold air conditioning
11. Being in the office when the weather is lovely
12. Having meetings about meetings
13. People not replying to your emails
14. When someone calls in sick when you know they aren’t ill
15. Being copied into emails that are of no concern
16. Colleagues who suck up to the boss
17. Colleagues who talk too much
18. People who loudly complain about how busy they are
19. People not saying thank you when you’ve helped them out
20. The commute
21. Someone constantly arriving late to work
22. The amount of junk mail received
23. People who ignore a ringing phone
24. Smelly food being eaten in the office
25. The phone ringing constantly
26. Someone taking credit for work you’ve done
27. Having to sit in long and tedious meetings
28. People speaking loudly
29. Returning from holiday to hundreds of emails
30. Office jargon (such as “touch base”)
31. People who leave dirty dishes in the work sink
32. Unnecessary all-staff emails
33. Unrealistic deadlines
34. People not cleaning the microwave when their food spills
35. People who email out of normal working hours
36. Not having enough annual leave
37. An insensitive boss
38. People not listening to you when you talk and then asking you the same question 10 minutes later
39. People who inflict their mood swings on colleagues
40. An uncomfortable chair
41. Bosses who micromanage everything
42. Bad phone signal
43. The office gossip
44. People who expect the cleaners to tidy up all their mess
45. Someone stealing your favourite mug
46. Having to desk share or ‘hot desk’
47. Embarrassing teambuilding exercises
48. Having to engage in small talk
49. Colleagues who don’t shower regularly enough
50. Someone leaving their chair out in the middle of the aisle