Survey Reveals the Most Annoying Coworker Habits

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by Team
Last updated: April 17th, 2024

Whether you work in a small business or a large corporate setting, no one is immune from the annoying coworker. From complaining and interrupting to gossiping and bullying, the annoying coworker comes in many types of personalities. If you’re lucky, you might only cross paths with an annoying coworker once in a while, but others bear the brunt of obnoxiousness on a daily basis.

In order to find out what really gets under the skin of employees, we conducted a nationwide survey of full-time workers across a variety of industries to ask about the top workplace annoyances.

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Key findings

  • 83% have a coworker who annoys them
  • 21% have considered quitting due to an annoying coworker
  • 62% find it annoying when coworkers “quiet quit”
  • 52% say annoying coworkers prevent them from doing their best work
  • 45% find it annoying when companies ask employees to return to the office after working remotely
  • Three-in-ten say Gen Z are the most annoying age demographic to work with

Annoying coworkers

Overall, a majority of full-time workers (83%) say they work with someone who annoys them. How often do coworkers get on the nerves of employees? According to respondents, 22% say it happens on a daily basis while nearly half (47%) say it occurs a few times per week. On average, employees say two of their coworkers annoy them. 

Quiet quitting

Despite all of the hype surrounding “quiet quitting,” a majority of workers find the trend of only doing the bare minimum at work to be annoying. More than six-in-ten (62%) say they are annoyed with the quiet quitting trend. More than half (57%) say they’ve recently noticed a colleague who has “quiet quit” and, of those, 57% say they’ve had to take on more work since their colleague decided to quiet quit. Both Baby Boomers and Gen X are most annoyed with the quiet quitting trend.

Managers and bosses have caught on to the quiet quitting trend and some are attempting to turn it to their advantage by “quiet firing” employees, or subtly encouraging an employee to leave a workplace rather than fire them. When asked how they would respond to quiet firing, nearly one-third (32%) of employees say they would “quiet quit” or look for a new job if a boss or manager was “quiet firing” them.

Gen Z most annoying coworkers

Despite being piled on for years, it appears Millennials have escaped from the moniker of “most annoying coworkers.” According to respondents, 29% say Gen Z coworkers are the most annoying to work with. Gen X was the least annoying age demographic to work with followed by Baby Boomers.

Lack of work ethic, complaining and entitlement were the top three annoying traits of Gen Z coworkers.

Workplace annoyances and productivity

Not only did respondents say Gen Z is the most annoying generation to work with, but they’re also the least productive. When it comes to the most productive coworkers, Gen X colleagues were most likely to get the job done.

Most annoying coworker habits

Annoying coworker habits aren’t restricted to one specific age group. We’re all guilty of having our quirks that irritate other colleagues, but the most annoying is complaining, according to respondents. Laziness, arrogance, interrupting, and being too talkative rounded out the top five.

More than half (52%) say they get annoyed when excessive exclamation marks are used within business communications and 76% say they get annoyed by poor grammar.

Most annoying workplace terms

When it comes to overused and annoying office jargon, employees have had enough of the term “new normal.” Other annoying workplace terms include “circle back,” “touch base,” “culture,” and “piggybacking.”

But perhaps the most egregious is when companies refer to employees as “family.” According to respondents, 60% say businesses need to avoid calling employees family.

Most annoying workplace perks

Tech and startup culture took the office perk to the next level, but most employees say they’d rather get paid more for their work than play ping pong in the office.

Overall, 56% feel that excessive workplace perks are annoying. Among the top workplace perks that should be a thing of the past include company “swag,” company outings, virtual happy hours, and corporate wellness or group fitness classes. 

Whether you currently run a small business or are planning to start a business of your own, it’s always a good idea to envision how you want to structure your workplace environment. Keeping employees happy and doing your best to prevent annoyances within the workplace can limit turnover, but also keep everyone a little saner throughout the workweek.


From September – October 2022, we surveyed 1,005 full-time employees across the U.S. 50% of respondents were male and 50% were female with an average age of 38. Industries: health 14%; tech/IT 13%; education 10%; finance 8%; manufacturing/wholesale 8%; retail 8%; business/professional services/sales 6%; government/politics 4%; food industry 4%; transportation 4%; arts/entertainment 3%; nonprofit 3%; construction 3%; hospitality 2%; science/aerospace 2%;  real estate 1%; legal services 1%; other 6%.   

Fair Use: Feel free to use this data and research with proper attribution linking to this study.

Media Inquiries: For media inquiries, contact [email protected]

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