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Which department has the worst office habits?


Have you recently been disgusted by something you’ve seen in your office?

If so, you’re not alone – in the wake of the pandemic, more and more people are finding it harder to tolerate office habits that were once ignorable at the very least.

Look no further if you’re interested in the gory details of our bad habits at work: flyer specialists instantprint have surveyed 1,000 employees to investigate this cause of growing concern. 

Why is office etiquette important?

The importance of office etiquette goes beyond just avoiding having boiled eggs or tinned fish as part of your desk lunch out of politeness.

You might even be expected to follow etiquette guidelines if you’re working from home. The bottom line is that respect goes a long way in the workplace.

The top five most disgusting habits

When asked what habits they would like to be banned from the office, the most common answers were:

  • Not washing your hands after using the toilet (42.9%)
  • Coming into work with a cough or a cold (37.4%)
  • Kissing as a greeting (32.9%)
  • Hugs (27.8%)
  • Keeping unwashed gym kit in the workplace (26.5%)

So, who are the worst offenders when it comes to these questionable habits? The department you work in might be a significant factor when it comes to what you think the worst habits in the office might be. 

Gross habits by department

If you work in sales, you might not be pleased to hear that 34.5% of survey respondents believed that high fiving one another was the grossest habit; passing on germs couldn’t get more direct.

For those in HR, almost 43% said they couldn’t bear to see how many hugs are shared between the team. Something once so comforting and normal is now deemed a transmission hotbed. 

Did you miss your colleagues over the weekend? Some marketers clearly did, with 44% of respondents complaining about their colleagues greeting with a kiss.

Coming into work with a cold was the most frequent complaint among respondents working in both management positions and customer service roles.

Almost 43% of respondents working in recruitment admitted they were no longer keen on the communal hot drinks rounds.

Lastly, 38.5% of respondents working in distribution said colleagues keeping unwashed gym kit in the workplace was by far the worst habit. Considering that almost a third of people wear their gym kit at least twice before washing it, it’s hardly surprising that colleagues might turn up their nose at this behaviour.

The winner:

Most departments chose ‘not washing your hands’ as the most repulsive habit, so the verdict is clear. With about 80% of infectious diseases transmissible through touch, now’s the time to stock up on soap and wash your hands thoroughly!

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