Most annoying habits of colleagues in UAE

Respondents to Emirates 24|7 poll cite ‘know it all’ colleagues as most irritating

Annoying work colleagues can range from the slightly irritating ones to the types who can drive other people crazy.

A poll run by Emirates 24|7 reveals the kinds of colleagues who can be termed annoying, turning the workplace into a stressful environment.

The online poll shows that a big percentage of people are put off by colleagues who believe they are the so-called fountain of wisdom.

“I know it all” attribute was a big turn off for 27 per cent respondents.

“I’m just so fed up with a colleague who behaves like the most intelligent person in this world.

“I initially tolerated all his talk – but enough was enough. I told him to take control of a company like Apple or Microsoft and stop working with a mediocre accountant like me doing a 9am to 5pm job.

“He’s stopped talking since then and I’m very relieved,” said a respondent.

Next on the list of most annoying colleagues are ones who are very loud.

In an environment, where open spaces are fast becoming popular, people who talk loudly whether on the phone or one-to-one, can be very disturbing.

Such people are a source of annoyance to 16 per cent of the poll participants.

“I try very hard to concentrate but end up reading the same line at least a 10 times if my co-worker is loud on the phone,” said a reader.

Colleagues who talk too much can also be very irritating. Six per cent of participants believe this category of colleagues is the most annoying.

Basic hygiene also plays a very important role in making the workplace stressful. Whether it’s bad body odour or strong smelling food that people eat at their desk, can be a painful ritual for some.

To counter this problem, some companies do not permit employees to eat while working on their desk and even highlight basic hygiene in the pantry.

Unhygienic colleagues with body odour were an irritant for 7 per cent of participants and 3 per cent opted for colleagues who eat smelly food as annoying. 

Interestingly, the majority (40 per cent) said all the above factors can put them off and they can find at least one such case in their office.

Gloria Starr, Executive Image, Etiquette, Communication and Leadership Advisor and Coach, who also hold sessions in Dubai listed some annoying habits that are prevalent at the workplace.

Annoying traits

Gossip, talking/asking about personal information/swearing/rude behaviour/flirting/office romances.

Long breaks and lunches.

Arriving late.

Office cubicles cluttered with non-related business items such as food, photos, and memorabilia.

Loud voices/speaking loudly on the phone. The open concept of office cubicles requires that you keep your voice low while on the phone and or having conversations with colleagues.

Eating food at their desk – this is very rude and inappropriate. Eat in the designated lunch room.

Spicy foods/smelly food such as curry sardines and fish. Certain foods and spices have very strong odours and after eating these food items, the odour exudes from the person's skin pores causing a bad body odour.

If these food items are placed in the work place community refrigerator. The smell is absorbed by everyone else's food.

Personal phone calls. Show respect for your boss, the company and your job. Imagine that you were the boss and observed your staff doing personal things and personal phone calls during their work day.

Lack of respect to others, the boss, the work environment, the building.

Smoking, gum chewing, not disposing of trash properly, etc.

Appropriate Office Etiquette

Wear work appropriate clothing. Avoid too much skin showing as this sends a mixed message.

Wear proper shoes (sandals and sneakers may not be your best choice.)

Cosmetics for Women: equal intensities on the eyes, checks and lips and avoid shiny makeup in the day-time work environment.

Men and women: if you are wearing trousers/pants and they have belt loops - wear a belt.

Bare legs with a skirt or dress in many cultures send out a sexy message rather than an appropriate work message.

Men: if you are wearing an open-necked dress shirt, wear a V-neck T-shirt. If you are wearing a tie make sure the top button of your dress shirt is buttoned.

Men: do NOT walk around with your hands in the pockets of your trousers.

Focus your energy and results on your work. Above average work may lead to a promotion.

Don’t address someone older than you/with more authority than you by their first name unless given permission to.

Do not set any of your personal items on anyone else's desk. Their desk/office/cubicle is their work related space.

Your posture sends out a visual message of professional/alert/business-minded/focused or the opposite message is sent if you are slouching, yawning, chewing gum, etc.

It is all about: Polish, Poise, Posture, Presence and Profits.


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[Image via Shutterstock]

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