LinkedIn Report: Top Office Pet Peeves

What drives you nuts about your co-workers? Loud talkers? (Yes.) Irritating ringtones? (Yes.)

Ofer Wolberger | Getty Images

Taking food from the fridge that isn't theirs? (Oh yes.)

Hitting "Reply all" on emails? (This should be a felony.)

LinkedIn surveyed 17,000 office workers around the globe about pet peeves, and discovered what unites us and what divides us.

Americans are more irritated than any other nation if a co-worker takes someone else's food out of the fridge.

One co-worker has gotten so fed up with people taking her milk for coffee that she poured it into a plastic container and made a label saying...wait for it...BREAST MILK.

  • Brazilians hate office gossip
  • Indians detest ridiculous ringtones
  • The Japanese don't care for office pranks
  • And Germans are most annoyed by "dirty common areas" like the lunchroom

However, across this entire planet, we all agree on one thing. The top pet peeve among all workers is "people not taking ownership for their actions." Four out of five people listed this as their number one gripe.

This was also the top peeve in the US, followed by "constant complainers" and "dirty common areas." Meantime, two out of three American women hate "clothing that's too revealing," but only three in ten American men are bothered by that (and only one in ten Swedish men are--it's so cold there they probably don't see much skin).

Nicole Williams suggests on LinkedIn that if something a co-worker does is really bothering you, don't let it build up. "The secret here is the earlier the better and whenever possible, do it in the moment—'Hey, do you mind refilling the photocopier with paper?'...before she walks away."

Williams also suggests we ask around to see if we are more irritating than we realize. "Could you be a peever?" she asks.

I already know the answer.

Hello, my name is Jane, and I am a peever.

Looking at the list of potential peeves asked by LinkedIn, I recognize the following office crimes which I have perpetrated on my co-workers:

  • Loud talker (it's just the way God made me)
  • Constant complainer (define "constant")
  • Eavesdropping and then chiming in (I am THE WORST at this)
  • Sending too many unimportant emails (I think they're important, but...)
  • Not filling empty printer with paper (can't you see how busy I am?)
  • Coming to the office when sick (just did it last week—sorry, Robert! Didn't mean to sneeze all over the edit bay and make you sick)

But take heart. We Americans are not a particularly peevish people. The US ranked eighth out of 16 countries in the survey. The most annoyed country is India.

The least is Italy.

Hey, if I lived in Italy I wouldn't be annoyed, either.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email