The kitchen is the heart of workplace arguments and annoyances according to new research. Research of 1,000 UK office workers carried out by leading household appliances retailer, AppliancesDirect.co.uk revealed 67% have had a falling out over kitchen cleanliness and washing up in the past 12 months.
Talking loudly regularly upsets half (52%) of UK office workers, while lateness and poor timekeeping registered high on the list of frustrations for 45%. 37% cited bad personal hygiene, including body odour, coffee breath and cigarette smoke laden clothing.
More than a quarter (28%) listed inclusion in drinks rounds as a point of contention.
A quarter (23%) 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% of office workers.
When faced with these problems, 15% have directly confronted a colleague, while a third (35%) 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%) reported the highest level of office upsets, followed by information and communications (89%).
Healthcare (85%), real estate (84%) and education (83%) industries rounded off the top five industries most likely to see a workplace dispute.