Revealed: The office habits teachers find most annoying

●     4Com research reveals the pet peeves that annoy UK teachers the most

Eating smelly food such as tuna/eggs is the most annoying thing you can do in the office, according to new research1 conducted by business telecommunications provider, 4Com. With insight gathered from teachers across the nation, the study aimed to discover which habits most get under their skin in the work environment.

According to respondents, the top five behaviours that teachers find most irritating are:

  1. Colleagues eating smelly food e.g. tuna/eggs (52%)
  2. Colleagues eating their food out of the fridge (32%)
  3. Colleagues eating loud (31%)
  4. Colleagues speaking loudly (28%)
  5. Colleagues taking their shoes off (27%)

When it comes to the habits teachers admit to having themselves, notably, 34% say they have no irritating habits at all, which is probably news to their colleagues! On the other hand, 22% are aware they eat smelly food, and 16% know they have a tendency to whistle. 

The research also looked at the way teachers react to workplace irritations. 31% say they’ll tell the culprit face-to-face that their habits are irritating, while 19% would rather drop an email to express their annoyance. What’s more, 23% will just leave a passive-aggressive note. But, proving that British politeness is going nowhere, 36% will just ignore the problem altogether.

Commenting on the research, Mark Pearcy, Head of Marketing at 4Com, says: “If you work full time, you probably spend more time with your colleagues than anyone else, so it’s no surprise that certain habits can start to rub you up the wrong way!

“In those situations, we’d recommend letting the person know what’s bothering you in a clear, friendly and polite way, as well as being as patient as possible. After all, who knows, there are probably some things you do that make your colleagues grit their teeth!”

Have you ever come across, or even left, a passive-aggressive sign aimed at co-workers? If so, why not take part in 4Com’s competition to win a £50 Amazon voucher? To take part, head to