Research reveals Brits bemoan stupid colleagues as biggest bugbear of office life

More than a third (35%) of UK office workers have said being forced to deal with unskilled and inefficient colleagues is the biggest bugbear in their daily life, according to a new survey of 1,000 office workers.

Women in particular appear to be fed up carrying their colleagues, with 40% claiming this is their biggest annoyance, compared to 30% of their male counterparts.

Spending long hours at work because their office doesn’t offer flexible working (30%) follows close behind, along with dealing with “out-of-touch” management (27%) and being forced to regularly work outside of “core working hours” (27%).

The results are part of a new independent survey commissioned by accounting automation software specialists, CaseWare UK looking at the attitudes of UK workers to office life and how they adapt to the introduction of new technology.

Given that unskilled colleagues are the biggest source of annoyance, it’s no surprise that improving staff training and development (31%) is in the top three priorities for workers wanting to improve their office environment, just behind introducing more reliable technology (34%) and removing unnecessary processes (32%).

One in five (20%) would urge their employer to introduce flexible and mobile working policies to make their workday more tolerable, while 18% want more focus of hiring qualified staff and improving recruitment.

Shez Hamill, Director at CaseWare UK, said: “There appears to be no shortage of annoyances in the workplace that get people’s blood pressure rising. Today’s workforce is increasingly demanding and business leaders need to wake up to issues their employees are facing, or they will see them heading for the door. Technology can be a great enabler within a business, but if the commitment to maintain and improve processes isn’t there, then it can be immensely frustrating for workers.”

Research by CaseWare UK in 2016 showed that 12% of workers said they were dealing with poor standards of technology. This figure has more than doubled to 26% who say their workplace features poor, out of date technology – including both software and hardware.

Top 10 office gripes
1. Dealing with unskilled co-workers
2. Keeping up with constantly changing industry regulations
3. Spending long hours in the office due to lack of mobile/ flexible working
4. Dealing with out of touch management
5. Working outside of core working hours (e.g. 9:00am to 5:30pm)
6. Poor standard of workplace technology
7. Inability to update systems and processes
8. Inability to attract new/ young talent
9. Non-responsive board of directors
10. An over reliance on manual processes