So, in honor of Labor Day, I decided to ask a whole ton of people to share with me what annoys them most about the 21st Century workplace. Rank your annoyances, in other words, in order of just how annoying they are.
Some of these will have you nodding your head. Others might seem a little odd, perhaps.
And I guarantee for many of you, the most surprising thing will be what's missing--the one tiny little annoying thing you'd like to change about your workplace if you could. (Let us know about that one, if it's not on the list, in the comments.)
Meantime, here are the 39 most-mentioned pet peeves, ranked in order of how annoying they are.
1. Running late and rushing, only to find your boss isn't in the office yet.
Stress to the nth degree‚ and then you find out it's not even necessary.
2. Having to click four or five times to close a file.
"Do you want to save the changes you made?" OK. "Warning some formatting may be lost." OK. "Are you sure you want to..." Aaarrgh!
Stands for That's How We've Always Done It. "As a millennial, this drives me CRAZY! I see so many awesome ideas thrown out because senior level people want it done their way." (h/t, Roxanne Gilmore, Be Inspired Now Media, LLC).
Phubbing (phone snubbing): "Unless you're expecting an urgent phone call or text, keep your phone in your purse or pocket. Turn off notifications for distracting apps like email and social media. You don't need your attention divided with each incoming message. It hurts productivity and sends a pretty disrespectful message to the people you're face-to-face with. "Sorry, what did you just say?" gets old fast." (h/t, Rachel Dotson, Sanebox).
5. Email thread wars.
That thing when you and a colleague both reply to a group email at the same time, and only one of you gets their response included in the ongoing thread.
6. Office visitor bathroom door combinations that doesn't work.
They told me 401. I remember it because it's Rhode Island's area code. Now it doesn't work and I HAVE TO GO!
7. Overly nervous communicators.
"When someone emails you, then calls you, texts you and IM's you the exact same message because they just can't help themselves...."(h/t Mari Anne Snow, CEO and founder of Sophaya).
8. Work-from-home distractions.
"Why is it the UPS guy shows up only when I'm on an important conference call? My dogs go ballistic - LOUD barking." (h/t Monique A. Honaman, CEO/Founder ISHR Group).
9. Weak-minded messages.
"My biggest pet peeve is when I receive 10 passive aggressive emails for
something which could be said easily face to face." (h/t, Aqib Nazar)
10. Small talk before meetings.
"Don't quote me in your article, but I can't stand all the jibberish before we get down to business." (Related: Let's just block out 90 minutes Friday afternoon to circle back on the synergies.) (h/t, Anonymous)
11. Massive email signatures.
"My [least] favorite are the ones with images or little icons of all these social media networks no one even uses (we see a lot of this in real estate)." (h/t, Deidre Woollard,
Lion & Orb PR.
12. People who eat smelly lunches in the office.
We had seafood surprise for dinner last night. And I brought leftovers. (h/t, too many people to count).
"Outstanding at keeping you in the loop ... but addictive. ... It also has you connected to the office 24/7. I find myself checking in with it at night and weekends." (h/t, Martha Scully, CareGuide).
14. Mandatory drinking.
"Not everybody drinks, but the real networking is what goes on at company happy hours." (h/t, Anonymous).
"My biggest pet peeve is sending attachments to a potential client and when I do not hear an immediate or any reply, I am racking my brain. ... I start debating in my head whether I should follow up and risk looking unprofessional." (h/t, Zaida Khaze, Wiggletot).
16. Titles that don't mean anything.
What the heck is a chief awesomeness officer? And don't get me started on anyone who calls himself a guru.
17. Broken technology.
That incredibly frustrating printer hasn't worked correctly since we got it. Is anyone fixing or replacing it?
18. Accommodating late people.
"People arriving late for meetings and the meeting leader then recapping what they missed. I start meetings on time no matter who's missing." (h/t,Carol Margolis, Smart Women Travelers).
19. Crappy Internet.
"You know when you have a really important task to finish and your Internet decides to operate like its 1999? I am talking slow or cutting out every minute. No Internet means having to make up hours to make up for the deadlines you missed." (h/t, Anna O'Toole, digital analyst, seoWorks).
20. Too many notifications.
"I get a lot of notification clog. 40 from Slack, 15 from Twitter, 10 on Facebook, 20 from LinkedIn. I can't even opt out of the social media portion because I manage it and what if there's a crisis? With all that noise, not sure how I get anything done."
21. Over reliance on technology.
"People email you even though they are sitting literally 15 feet away. ... Trust me, your issue will be resolved more efficiently and pleasantly if you just take the time to walk over and speak to your colleague." (h/t, Max Brown, founder, Silicon Beach Talent).
22. Too many automatic emails.
""I can't stand it when there is email documentation to every action on a site. ... Need to change your password? Two more emails. Update an address? Another email. Opt-out of emails? A final, aggravating, confirmation email.. Mark it as spam? Gmail generates an request on your behalf and sends you a copy of the email." (h/t, Mike Catania, chief technology officer, Promotion Code).
23. Oversharing in shared work spaces.
Like "when I'm working on an important proposal, head down, ear buds in listening to my music, focused ... and the person sitting next to me is sharing - really loudly -- the details of his latest DUI or break-up (and I've heard both of those)." (h/t, Monique A. Honaman, ISHR Group).
24. Bad connections on conference calls.
"This could be either because the connection quality is poor, or because someone is ... not going on mute so everyone hears a lot of background noise. ... You spend more time trying to understand what people (multiple 'Can you hear me' or 'Can you repeat that' statements) than having an efficient call." (h/t, Lisette Paras, president & founder, Gravitate PR).
25. Fake over-friendliness (from salespeople).
Get to the point, and pay me the compliment of just trying to sell me something.
26. Office air conditioning
It's 90 degrees out. I dressed like it's 90 degrees, commuted through 90 degrees. Then I get to the office and it's like Alberta in November.
"Speaking...?! Using an up-tone inflection...?! So everything sounds like a question...?!" (h/t Haralee Weintraub, CEO Haralee).
28. Office supply whodunits.
"Pens and pencils that go MIA. Gone. Even when you know who took it, they just magically disappear." (h/t Estera Dezelak, Joan Assistant).
29. CC wars.
This is "when you CC multiple people in an email chain because you want those people in the loop, but then someone in the chain responds to you and ONLY you. Bonus points if they continue to do it even after you re-CC everyone back into the email." (h/t, Kiyo Wiesnoski, digital media analyst, Adlava).
30. Outdated technology.
"Faxing is simply the worst. Gee is it 1987? And then people who require them still seem to lose about 25% of them." (h/t, Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking Fat Loss Backpacking Adventures).
31. Bad cubicle manners.
"I work on a large floor in a cubicle farm with cubicles as far as the eye can see. My cubicle is next to others with several loud and unprofessional coworkers who carry on throughout the day without a care in the world for the people they are disturbing around them. The person in the cubicle next to me always talks too loud, sleeps at his desk, bangs on the desk which shakes mine, and other inconsiderate acts." (h/t, Hank Coleman, "federal government worker by day & professional blogger at night," Money Q&A).
32. Open offices in general.
"The combination of a modern open office plan with interruptive co-workers--creative work such as writing and design requires deep thinking over extended periods of time; something I find myself unable to do in my current workspace." (h/t, Awais Imran, co-founder, PriceOye).
33. Sonos wars.
"Anyone in our office can choose the music. And choose they do, anonymously canceling each other's choices from their phones, and cutting of song after song in mid-play." (h/t, Anonymous).
34. Debbie downer colleagues.
These are the people who complain constantly about work. (Author's note: I get the irony of including this complaint about complaints within an article about complaints.) If they hate it so much, why do they stay?
"Assign a job to an employee. He comes back at the end of the day trying to explain why a simple fixable problem at the start of the day stopped [him] from finishing."(h/t, Christopher Tillman, manager, Property Conveyors LLC.
36. Delivery ditchers.
This is about "making someone else play receptionist. ... We have around 20 people here, and it's common to order food but not keep an eye out for when the delivery comes in. We don't have a front desk to handle deliveries, but my desk happens to be at the front of the office, which means I'm constantly dealing with delivery guys asking about deliveries that aren't even mine." (h/t, Michael Heiligenstein, director of SEO at Fit Small Business).
"I love my job. Seriously, I love the industry, the work, my coworkers. What I don't love is the way that there is literally no time, ever, that I can unplug and be 100 percent not available. I've had friends who got so-called emergency emails while traveling for a relative's funeral." (h/t, Anonymous).
38. "Checking in."
"My biggest pet peeve about modern work is getting emails (with little, if any personalization) from salespeople that with the subject lines: 'Touching base,' 'Checking In', or 'Following Up.' They should just say, 'Are you ready to buy yet, or not?'" (h/t, Spencer X. Smith, consultant).
39. Obnoxious assistants.
"These are the ones that "think that because their boss has a powerful position or a lot of accomplishments, that this entitles them to act like they're the boss--even when they're not acting for the boss. My boss's assistant is a prime example." (h/t, Anonymous).