Go ahead and gripe: What bugs you about work?

ManagementIt’s said you can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broken.

True enough.

And that goes for the workplace as well. If you don’t know what’s driving your people nuts – or driving them away – you can’t help.

Recently, a London-based animal-welfare group called  The Brooke surveyed 2,000 of its employees and asked “what bugs you about work?”

(The Brooke was hoping to draw attention to the plight of donkeys and mules that toil to exhaustion in many Third World countries. In other words, you think you have it bad, how would you like to be an … well, you get the picture.)

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Only U.K. office workers were polled, but there is surely some correlation here in the U.S.

So, below are the Top 25 complaints. Anything missing?

While this ManageElite group strives to stay focused on the positive, it’s OK to vent sometimes, right?

With that in mind, what’s your top complaint? Please feel free to post it in the comments section below.

Top 25 work complaints:

  1. Being copied in emails that aren’t relevant
  2. The phone ringing at 4:59 p.m.
  3. Computer crashing
  4. Air conditioning making the office too cold
  5. The printer breaking down
  6. Colleagues that smell
  7. Loud telephone voices
  8. People chatting too much
  9. People not cleaning the microwave
  10. People sniffing
  11. People reading emails over your shoulder
  12. People not replacing empty toilet paper rolls
  13. Co-workers not saying thanks when you hold the door open for them
  14. People with bad breath
  15. Anyone that says “blue sky thinking”
  16. Inconsiderate parking
  17. Smelly lunches
  18. Uncomfortable chairs
  19. Those that book vacations really far in advance
  20. Your boss catching you on Facebook for one minute when you have been crazy busy all day
  21. Your company blocking you from certain websites
  22. People in the parking lot blocking you in
  23. The company providing cheap teabags (These are Brits, after all)
  24. Colleagues moaning about personal life
  25. Co-workers who constantly boast about their children

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  1. Fourester says:

    Reams of policy and procedure that upper management largely ignore, but you are eexpected to know and follow to the letter.

  2. Richard Brandner says:

    Employees and superiors who listen to what you say but do not hear a word you have just spoken

  3. Louise Bundy says:

    Different rules for different people.
    No follow up action
    Choosy communication

  4. People that leave a mess for someone else to clean up. Whether it is in the break room, the bathroom or leaving files in a mess, it is inconsiderate behavior. i also really hate when people heat up their day old fish & shrimp platter.

  5. From a safety coordinator’s stand point, when your supervisor doesn’t understand, or believe in, the work you are trying to do.

  6. Maggie M. says:

    I can’t stress this enough…those who spend at least an hour every day going from cubicle-to-cubicle (or on the telephone) chit-chatting about personal things… and management letting it continue when they are most definitely aware of it. If they don’t have enough work to keep them busy, get rid of them! In addition, it bothers the productivity of the rest of us who do have the work and the integrity to get it done before doing personal activities while on the job.

  7. Poor use of SUBJECT LINES in emails. Examples: “this is interesting” or “the draft” (Please tell me WHY it’s interesting (it may not be to me!), and use those 10 words to convince me I should read your email).
    Also: general / lame subject line when the email is important, or when it includes a request with a deadline (please put “REQUEST” or “REQUIRED” in the subject line).
    People who reply, with totally different/ random information than was in the original email – yet they leave the subject line the same. The subject line says “Re: staying late this evening” and the message is about the cancelled meeting, a new project, a reminder of the boss’s birthday, or (the worst) all this and additional random stuff. (please, start a new email. Or at least change the subject line. OH – and “subject” is SINGULAR. If you have three different subjects, please send me three emails. So I can keep the one I need, and delete the others.)

  8. I understand as the EMR Manager / db-A for a large medical practice, that it’s entirely normal for me to have a greater technical knowledge than those executives and / or managers over such things as operations or finance, BUT knowing more about every aspect of information technology than my direct manager / my department head / the CIO?! That’s unacceptable! I completely disdain having to work directly for an idiot who is viewed as, and should be the local “expert” in I.T. A person who doesn’t even know how to properly manage DHCP / IP addressing, can’t configure our wireless network to function correctly, and is adamant that a proper naming convention NOT be used to help manage domain member computers!

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