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The ‘wrong’ temperature is the UK’s biggest workplace annoyance, costing workers 16 minutes of productivity per day

  • Research reveals that 23% of the nation is frustrated by being too cold at work with women more affected than men
  • Meanwhile, 1 in 5 employees are affected by being too hot in the workplace
  • In addition, a smelly tuna sandwich being eaten in the office could cost a business of 10 people, 6 hours of productivity per week

Image of temperature gauge in an office

Being cold at work has been revealed as the biggest office pet peeve by 23% of British workers, with a chilly workplace affecting more women (28%) than men (18%).

The study, released today by Yell found that the second biggest annoyance at work is poor internet connection with 1 in 5 saying this was immensely frustrating, an unclean workspace came third on the list, aggravating 18% of the nation’s workers.

Other grievances were:

  • Heat also gets to the nation’s staff, with 17% saying their office being too hot is their biggest pet peeve
  • Colleagues talking too loudly (14%), a cluttered workspace (14%), colleagues eating smelly food (12%), faulty electronic equipment (11%) and untidy colleagues (10%) also came in the top 10

It’s also been revealed that workplace annoyances cost businesses time – with poor internet connection costing workers an average of 20 minutes of productivity per day, while faulty electronic equipment leads to 19 minutes of lost time. A hot workplace also cost 19 minutes per day, while a cold workplace costs 16 minutes of productivity.

Noisy colleagues result in 17 minutes of lost time per worker, and affect millennials more than any other age group - 25-34 year-olds say loud co-workers result in them losing an average of 20 minutes of productivity per day.

Smelly food costs 7 minutes per worker per day, so a team of just 10 people could lose 6 hours a week in productivity, if a fellow colleague has a liking for tuna or egg sandwiches!

The UK’s top 10 workplace annoyances:

  1. Workplace being too cold – 23%
  2. Poor internet connection – 20%
  3. An unclean workspace – 18%
  4. Workplace being too hot – 17%
  5. Dirty crockery/cutlery left in the kitchen sink – 15%
  6. Colleagues talking too loudly – 14%
  7. A cluttered workspace – 14%
  8. A colleague eating smelly food – 12%
  9. Faulty electronic equipment – 11%
  10. Colleagues having untidy workspaces – 10%

The average loss in productivity (in minutes) per pet peeves

  1. Poor internet connection: 20 minutes
  2. Faulty electronic equipment: 19 minutes
  3. Workplace being too hot: 19 minutes
  4. Colleagues talking too loudly: 17 minutes
  5. Workplace being too cold: 16 minutes
  6. Poor lighting in workplace: 14 minutes
  7. A cluttered workplace: 12 minutes
  8. An unclean workplace: 12 minutes
  9. Colleagues having untidy workspaces: 11 minutes
  10. Cluttered computer desktop: 10 minutes
  11. Colleagues leaving fruit peelings in their workspace: 10 minutes
  12. Poor choice of music at work: 10 minutes
  13. Loose wires getting in the way: 9 minutes
  14. Colleagues leaving dirty crockery in their workspace: 8 minutes
  15. Colleagues that eat the last treat and don’t throw the wrapper away: 8 minutes
  16. Colleagues eating smelly food: 7 minutes
  17. Colleagues that leave an empty toilet roll behind without throwing it away: 7 minutes
  18. Dirty crockery left in kitchen sink: 6 minutes
  19. Teabags left in the kitchen sink: 5 minutes

Mark Clisby, Chief Marketing Officer at Yell, said: “While it can be difficult to get the right balance at work, it’s important that harmony is achieved to ensure your team is productive. Remind colleagues to consider each other’s needs – for example, before reaching for the aircon, check how the temperature feels for the rest of the team, and perhaps remove a jumper instead of turning the temperature down a few degrees.

Also, business owners should encourage employees to step outside for lunch, rather than eating at their desks – it’s important to take a break from work, and this then avoids any debate over any smelly food”.

For more tips and advice for small business owners, visit https://business.yell.com/knowledge/  

- ENDS -

Media Contact

Sarah O’Rafferty
Head of Public Relations
07702 140362
press.enquiries@yell.com

Richard Paul
01273 760975
richard@propellernet.co.uk

Alex Jones
01273 760976
alex@propellernet.co.uk

Hannah Harris
01273 760992
hannah@propellernet.co.uk

About Yell

Yell is No.1 for managed digital marketing services for all types of local businesses in the UK*. Its goal is simple; to connect consumers and businesses online. Yell.com now provides advanced tools to support consumers in their search for suppliers, including ratings and reviews, mobile apps and social media sharing. Yell is the largest reseller of Google Ads in the UK and provides a full range of managed digital marketing services for businesses with Pay Per Click, Websites, Display adverts, Social media and directory listings. Over 130,000 businesses currently advertise with Yell, and Yell.com is used by millions of consumers every month. 


*Source: M-Brain research 2017, #1 in terms of revenue from sales of managed digital marketing services