Co-workers are employees’ major source of stress


UK workers have cited their own colleagues as the main cause of annoyance at work in research published today.

Annoying mobile phone ringtones, the person who never offers to make tea, the one who eats smelly food at lunch time or the tireless secretary who spreads unfounded gossip – when stressed and tired these factors are enough to make even the most placid person’s blood pressure rise.

The survey asked 2,226 employees, “What irritates you most about your job?” It reveals that the largest percentage of respondents – 30% – said it was their work colleagues.

Alan Townsend, chief operating officer for online recruiter Monster UK & Ireland, which conducted the survey, said: “Feeling irritated or angry with colleagues is one of the most common symptoms of stress. It is important to keep things in perspective. Enjoy the challenges of your job but don’t let it dominate your life.

“With so many Britons struggling to maintain a work-life balance, it is no wonder that, when stress gets to us, we blame each other.”

A quarter of respondents are annoyed by the UK’s long hours culture, 24% by red tape and 11% by the physical environment at work. One in 10 workers manage to retain a sunny disposition, claiming that “nothing really irritates me”.

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