These are the working-from-home habits that are most annoying to your co-workers

Are you unknowingly infuriating your co-workers?

Are you managing to do that without even being in the same room as them?

If you’re slow to respond to emails, still haven’t figured out the ‘mute’ button on Zoom, and have no shame about tucking into snacks in the middle of meetings, the answer to these questions is likely yes.

That’s according to a new survey from Premier Inn, anyway, which asked workers to share the most annoying habits of their colleagues when working from home.

Top of the list is rubbish communication – failing to reply speedily to direct messages is likely to irk your work pals, especially if they can see you’re online.

The majority of the list is made up of video call faux pas, from background noise on Zoom to struggling to work out the ‘mute’ button.

Most annoying working-from-home habits:

Don’t use this list as a stick with which to beat working from home, though.

People can be just as annoying – if not more – when they’re in an office.

The survey found that 53% of workers find their colleagues less irritating now they’re not working in the same physical space.

When we’re all in the office, the list of the most annoying behaviours changes up a bit, with ‘eating loudly’ topping the rankings, followed by sucking up to the boss (which is extremely irritating, let’s be real).

Most annoying in-office habits:

‘Though a large number of organisations have returned to working in an office environment, many of us are now adopting a hybrid approach which still includes spending time working remotely, meaning work and communication with our colleagues is still happening virtually for a lot of people,’ said a Premier Inn spokesperson.

‘With decreased boundaries between home and work, and often many distractions to be found at home, we’ve discovered a whole host of small annoyances when it comes to working with our colleagues remotely, from slow replies to poor attention on calls. However, as our research shows, many of us have picked up some of these habits ourselves, and with large percentages of people looking to actively avoid these kinds of behaviours, it seems that many of us are keen to keep the harmony between our colleagues.

‘It’s great to see that the large majority of workforces still find their colleagues endearing, with behaviours such as checking on work friends and sharing weekend plans going a long way in making others feel comfortable and appreciated.

‘Giving your full attention to your colleagues during working hours (and then giving them space when not working), appears to be the best way to work effectively and harmoniously while working from home.’

Career coach Lucy Freeman emphasises the importance of taking a moment away to avoid the negative impact all that irritation can have on your mental wellbeing.

‘Being around an irritant, or an inflammatory person, can actually have a detrimental effect on us physically,’ she tells

‘Our heart rate rises, we are distracted, our muscles tense and our breathing becomes shallow.  

‘We also enter a state called hypervigilance where the expectation that we are about to be annoyed consumes us, even before the irritant has actually committed any transgression.

‘If you are in a meeting and someone annoys you, check yourself, dial down your anger. Don’t react to the emotions you are feeling. Take a breath and distinguish between feeling, thinking and acting.

‘Pausing for a moment to still your mind gives you the opportunity to neutralise the tension and negative emotions at play, and then prepare a more appropriate response.’

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