poor time management skills passes gossip as biggest workplace pet peeve
back to overviewNew Randstad Work Watch Survey Reveals What Really Irks Employees
ATLANTA, 05.05.10 – Employees would rather deal with gossiping co-workers than with colleagues who have poor time management skills, according to Randstad, a leading staffing firm and workforce solutions provider. The company’s new Work Watch survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs among more than 1,000 employed U.S. adults, revealed the top three workplace pet peeves to be: people with poor time management skills (43 percent), gossip (36 percent) and messiness in communal spaces (25 percent).
The results show a slight, but interesting, shift in employee sentiment on this subject since the last time Randstad conducted a similar survey on workplace pet peeves in 2007. In that survey, gossip ranked as the biggest workplace annoyance, followed by others’ poor time management skills and messiness in communal spaces.
pet peeves comparison chart
Peeves About Time Management
- people who abuse sick days (11 percent)
- meetings without agendas or structure (11 percent)
- meetings that cut into personal time, including starting before or ending after traditional work hours (10 percent)
- meetings that start late or run over (10 percent)
- people who are distracted on their Blackberry or who text during a meeting (10 percent)
- people who consistently miss deadlines (9 percent)
Social Media Impact
With only 12 percent of respondents saying that personal use of social media sites in the workplace was among their biggest pet peeves, it’s reasonable to say that this activity has either become a part of the “everyday” at work or that companies are now cracking down on social media use through formal policies. When asked what was most annoying about people’s personal use of social media during work hours, the top two responses were the amount of time wasted that should be spent on work assignments (28 percent) and when it causes users to ask others for help with their workload or responsibilities (20 percent). “This makes sense as both of these activities could impact a worker’s ability to manage, or not manage, their time,” added Habelow. “Just as telling is the fact the survey also found that 27 percent of respondents don’t have any concerns over people’s personal use of social media during work hours which again could be because of workplace policies or general acceptance.”
How Pet Peeves Are Being Addressed
- Workers under 35 are more likely than those 55 and older to say that loud noises (25 percent vs. 16 percent) and political conversations (15 percent vs. 8 percent) are pet peeves
- When it comes to email pet peeves, forwarding chain emails and jokes topped the list (19 percent)
- Women are more likely than men to be annoyed by unnecessary “reply alls” (15 percent vs. 10 percent)
- Workers aged 18-34 are more likely than workers 55+ to be bothered by people who ask a question that was just answered in a previous email (12 percent vs. 3 percent)
Abbreviated Survey Methodology
For the survey, a national sample of 1,037 adults aged 18 and older who were currently employed from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online from April 13-16, 2010. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of employed adults aged 18 and older in the United States had been polled.