One in seven people have had something stolen from them by a colleague at work

The last thing you expect to happen during your working day is to have something stolen – but it’s much more common that you might think.

And it isn’t only pens or the last glug of the milk that you bought – according to new research, lots of workers in the UK have had money stolen by a colleague.

The study of 1,028 respondents, conducted by Cartridge People, found that one in seven people have had a colleague steal something from them – and the majority of people said it was money that was stolen.

The study also asked respondents what were the most annoying traits that their work colleagues possess. They found that dishonesty topped the list, with 66% stating that this was the worst trait in an office worker. Which is unsurprising given the amount of thievery going on.

While theft is probably the most shocking office habit, it is not the most frequently cited annoying habit. Leading the way quite significantly, 65% cited poor hygiene as the worst offender. This figure increased to 72% for women alone.

Two in five (39%) of the respondents said that eating smelly food at their desks was a bad office habit. This figure is unsurprising when you consider that more and more people are choosing to sit in front of their computers during lunch breaks.

Use of bad language came in third, with more than one in three (36%) claiming it as an annoying office habit and surprisingly this received more votes than sucking up to your boss (31%). Talking politics came in at 17%, which might be a difficult one to avoid given the current political climate in the UK.

If you’re guilty of any of these traits, don’t worry – your colleagues probably won’t pull you up on it.

UK workers are more likely to ignore these annoying habits and traits (48%), with only 44% claiming that they would tell their colleague to change their behaviour.

‘Our study has uncovered some revealing insights into what’s annoying UK office workers,’ says Cartridge People spokesperson Andrew Davies.

‘As many use the start of a new year to evaluate where they are in their career, it’s important for business owners to ensure that something that may be viewed as just a small annoyance, doesn’t become the reason why a member of staff leaves.

‘Through communicating to employees and making sure that there’s an environment where colleagues can talk to each other honestly and most importantly, respectfully, you can go a long way to making sure that some of the bad office habits mentioned by our respondents don’t become a big issue.

‘We find it alarming the number of workers who have had a colleague steal from them. This is unacceptable and can be a massive contributor to a toxic working environment!’

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