Research among 1,000 UK office workers carried out by household appliances retailer, AppliancesDirect.co.uk has shown 67 per cent have had a falling out over kitchen cleanliness and washing up in the past 12 months. The survey found talking loudly regularly upsets half (52 per cent) of UK office workers, while lateness and poor timekeeping registered high on the list of frustrations for 45 per cent.
A total of 37 per cent cited bad personal hygiene, including body odour, coffee breath and cigarette smoke laden clothing while more than a quarter (28 per cent) listed inclusion in drinks rounds as a point of contention.
A quarter (23 per cent) of office workers reported falling out over running out of milk, coffee and tea bags. Lost or stolen food and drink also caused frustration for 17 per cent of office workers. When faced with these problems, 15 per cent have directly confronted a colleague, while a third (35 per cent) have sent a passive aggressive email or left a note.
Mark Kelly, marketing manager at AppliancesDirect.co.uk comments: "The office is a place for productivity, although the research shows that things can boil over especially when it comes to kitchen etiquette. A harmonious workplace can be disrupted by small stresses, with the data showing those in typically more pressured industries and environments have a higher level of frustration, and lower patience threshold."
Younger members of staff, those aged 18-24, were most likely to confront a colleague and resolve their issues. Those working in financial services (93 per cent) reported the highest level of office upsets, followed by information and communications (89 per cent). Healthcare (85 per cent), real estate (84 per cent) and education (83 per cent) industries rounded off the top five industries most likely to see a workplace dispute.