Noisy eating is top office irritant
Noisy eating by colleagues tops a list of office gripes by British workers, according to a survey.
More than half (57%) identified the habit as the most annoying trait among their co-workers, followed by messy colleagues (32%).
More than a quarter (27%) highlighted a failure by other staff members to wash up after themselves as their biggest bugbear.
Food-related gripes featured heavily in the list of annoyances among British office workers, in the research commissioned by Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup.
Fourth in the list was colleagues who bring smelly food into the office (26%), followed by lateness (also 26%), failure to listen (25%) and people who talk over conversation (23%).
William Hanson, a leading expert on etiquette, said that while the British option might be to say nothing, the best practice was to deal with colleagues' frustrating habits head on.
Mr Hanson said: "Take the annoying colleague aside, face to face, and, with a nice smile and your nicest voice possible, subtly tell them your gripe."
David Cherrie, marketing controller of Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup, said: "It's interesting that, rather than professional bugbears, such as not listening and talking over each other, it's food-related grievances that come out on top.
"Furthermore, we're all too cowardly to confront each other, meaning our working relationships could be suffering over what are basically poor table manners."