A new study by Kickresume has surveyed almost 3,000 employees to reveal the most annoying colleague behaviours. They did so to better understand how people manage these challenges in the workplace. 

The researchers detailed the different types of annoying colleagues – which were ranked 1-5 – where this conduct surfaces, and how employees deal – or wish they dealt – with these issues.

The findings showed that 85% of people have dealt with an annoying co-worker, with 58% saying these behaviours significantly affect their productivity.

The micromanager and the credit stealer: the most annoying colleagues revealed

The research found that the most grating types of co-workers are:

Credit Stealer 33%
Micromanager 32%
Chronic Complainer 30%
Personal Space Intruder 30%
Lunch Thief 27%


Peter Duris, CEO at Kickresume, comments:

Our findings are quite concerning, so we want to highlight the importance of creating a harmonious workplace where these behaviours are addressed. This could involve diplomatically making staff aware of how their actions affect the team. Doing this will help build a more united, friendly, and efficient workplace.

Peter Duris, CEO at Kickresume

The environment in which these behaviours were experienced was found to also play a role in how people feel about annoying colleagues. 62% have faced irritating behaviour in the workplace directly, for example.

For hybrid or remote working, 44% of employees found their colleagues annoying in the likes of emails and Slack. 29% also felt the same with video calls and 37%, with phone calls.

53% of employees who do hybrid – remote and in-person – work, believe that this has minimised experiencing annoying colleagues.

33% of Gen Z employees, presumably more tech literate who may have begun professional work in lockdown, believe that digital working has increased unpleasant behaviours.

Regarding those who wish they could deal with an annoying colleague, 41% wish they could tell their coworker what they really think of them, whereas 32% would hope they’d distance themselves from their colleague. 9% admitted they would likely be passive-aggressive. For bolder measures, 11% of those surveyed wished their coworker was fired as a result of their behaviour. 5% of people even wished violence on their irritating colleague.

Meanwhile, those who do deal with an annoying colleague, do so by directly asking their co-worker to stop their behaviour, whilst 12% opted to vent to other colleagues about their frustrations, and 12% reported it to management or HR.

To champion this dynamic, the findings suggest better communication practices and conflict resolution techniques be implemented for staff, for both in-person and online working. Further, as could regular check-ins and adequate training for streamlining remote and hybrid working dynamics.

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.