Here’s What Really Goes on in UK Workplaces

Co-workers being drunk, 'barking' in the office and a colleague having sex with someone's wife were just some of the office grievances uncovered in a survey of UK workplace gripes.  

Brassed-off Brits were quizzed about their general workplace bugbears yet the 1,000 respondents took the opportunity of anonymity to voice what really annoyed them in the office.

One poor worker revealed his biggest work bugbear was when someone had sex with his wife, while another was sent dizzy watching a colleague circling the office in a bid to boost their Fitbit step count.

The survey by online printing company instantprint revealed that workplaces are seething hotbeds of complaints with more than half of those quizzed (58%) saying they were regularly annoyed by work colleagues each day.

One worker revealed he is regularly spoken to in ‘stupid animal voices’ while the offender wears finger puppets, while others have their lunch swiped by a mystery office thief.

Just 4% conceded they’d never been annoyed by a co-worker’s actions.

Poor personal hygiene, eating smelly food and people taking frequent smoking breaks were also revealed as issues grinding the nation’s gears.

A third of recipients (33%) said such issues have a direct negative impact on work productivity.

But it wasn’t just fellow workers driving them up the wall, with nearly one third (30%) revealing that members of senior management were found to be guilty of breaking office etiquette the most.

Other bizarre gripes included a colleague who sings her emails as she types them and one worker who stripped off naked and then asked for help to adjust the office clock.

Some workers appear to have a lot of time on their hands, as one bemoaned a colleague stealing their rubber band ball they had been ‘working on for a year’ while another was shot in the eye with a Nerf gun.

More common complaints included ‘sabotage’, racism, bragging about their love life, bad flirting, gossiping behind each their colleagues’ backs and staring at their colleagues for no reason.

James Kinsella, co-founder and CEO of instantprint, said: “The insight this research has given into what may cause distracting irritations for employees gives managers a chance to address these things before they negatively impact the business.

“This research has given us an insight into what may be causing distracting irritations for teams and gives managers the opportunity to address them before they have a negative impact”

“A tool we’ve found really useful at instantprint is regular anonymous questionnaires to all the team about how we’re going and where we can improve. The suggestions that come back are often relatively simple to implement and can make a big difference, examples are picnic benches to people can sit outside at lunch, wifi access in our mobile dead zone canteen and free fruit.”


  1. Had sex with my wife
  2. Ate half my mint aero bar, barked when on an important business call
  3. Stole my rubber band ball I had been working on for a year
  4. Put on finger puppets on every finger and proceeded to speak to me in stupid animal voices
  5. Getting in their FitBit steps by walking in a circle around the office
  6. Stolen my lunch from the fridge
  7. Shot me in the eye with a Nerf gun
  8. Rolled their chair over my foot
  9. Left smelly socks on the office floor
  10. Produced smelly farts


  1. Poor personal hygiene
  2. Eating smelly food in the office
  3. Taking frequent smoking breaks
  4. Constant whistling
  5. Being late


  1. “Regards” (as a passive aggressive email sign-off)
  2. “It’s on my radar”
  3. “Ducks in a row”
  4. “Move the goalposts”
  5. “Hit the ground running”

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