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News » Workplace behaviors deterring office returns, Indeed survey finds

Workplace behaviors deterring office returns, Indeed survey finds

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — Gossiping co-workers, swearing, and flirting in the office are driving employees to stay remote, even as bosses urge a return. 

According to an Indeed survey of over 1,500 workers and employers in the United Kingdom, one in five employees avoid the office to dodge annoying colleague behavior.

“Our data underlines the changing workplace behaviors over time, influenced by the huge shift caused by the pandemic with more employees working remotely,” said Danny Stacy, Indeed’s U.K. head of talent intelligence. 

“There’s always going to be colleague habits that frustrate us and some [behaviors] that are simply unacceptable in the workplace.”

Gossiping tops the list of irritations, with workers admitting to excessive personal chatter about themselves and peers twice weekly on average.

Over 20% complained about receiving too much information from co-workers on personal matters. Remarkably, 25% of senior managers ditch the office to avoid “irritating staff.” 

Grievances exceeding office norms include colleagues taking credit for work (46%), talking over others (36%), and micromanaging (34%).

Stacy recommends employers “create moments of connection” to replace annoyances with mutual understanding.

“What’s important for employers is to create moments of connection for employees, no matter where they’re based, to maintain relationships and ensure environments where everyone can do their best work.”

In response to these challenges, businesses are increasingly turning to etiquette classes to reacquaint employees with office norms. The Big Four consulting firms—Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, and EY—teach incoming hires soft skills like speaking up in meetings. 

In fact, 60% will require training for all employees, while 10% of those currently or planning to offer classes say the training will be mandatory for Gen Z and new college grads, according to a Resume Builder survey.

“For employers, it’s about striking that balance between employees feeling like they can be themselves, with maintaining a professional working environment where all colleagues feel comfortable,” Stacy concluded.

With employees splitting time between home and the workplace, Samu Hällfors, CEO of Framery, previously suggested that offices should balance collaboration areas with quiet zones for focus.

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