Things we hate about our office colleagues (and how to avoid them)

What makes a nightmare colleague? Arriving late for meetings, leaving dirty dishes lying around and gossiping, according to a poll

From water-cooler gossips to those who don't know how to wash a plate, office life is littered with 'pet hates'.

Now a poll from the Institute of Leadership & Management has identified the top traits of a nightmare colleague - with arriving late for meetings and leaving dirty bowls lying around among the top five.

Such nightmare colleagues, however, can be avoided by swerving the office and working from the sofa.

The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies means more of us are working at home as well as the office.  Transport for London, for instance, has overseen a rise of more than 500% since 2010 in its employees' use of mobile phones and tablets under its BYOD scheme.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet is perfect for working at home. It acts like a high-powered laptop squeezed, but with all the advantages of using a lightweight, touchscreen tablet.

Surface Pro 2

It runs Microsoft Office so you can access your Word and Excel documents while lazing on the sofa and with Windows 8.1 it can even boot straight to desktop so it looks like your work PC when you switch it on. And with Intel's new Haswell processor, it's probably faster than your work PC.  It also has enough battery power to keep you going through a night-before-a-presentation all nighter - as well as backlit keys.

Ian Molster, Windows product manager, told us at the Gadget Show Live @ Christmas: "It's such a portable device but it still has the full power of a Windows machine. You can do all the things you would do on a desktop PC on this really small tablet."


Top five nightmare colleague traits: 

Here are the top five traits of a nightmare colleague, according to the latest poll by the Institute of Leadership & Management...

Avoid annoying colleagues that... arrive late for meetings! #SurfacePro2

1) Arrives late for meetings

If you and your colleagues made it to the meeting on time, why the hell can't the one who's always late? Not only do colleagues who're late for meetings scupper your diary and make you look daft, they also create a pressure-cooker of embarrassment for those who got their on time.
As the seconds tick painfully by, can you really muster another polite smile and inane 'good weekend? - where is he this time?' query? Stomach turning.






Avoid annoying colleagues that... leave dirty bowls and plates on their desk after lunch! #SurfacePro2

2) Leaves dirty bowls and plates on their desk after lunch

This is inexcusable. We know you had spag bol for dinner last night, we watched you eat it again for your leftovers lunch today. But we'd really rather not sit and watch it congeal and fester just inches away from our typing fingers. If you must eat hot food at your desk, then have the decency to clean it up.








Avoid annoying colleagues that... gossip about other workers! #SurfacePro2

3) Gossips about other workers

Filling your bottle at the water cooler, making a brew in the kitchen or going down in the lift - some people will gossip anywhere. But if you're sick of being a sounding board for all the latest office scandal, then you really need to be firm. Instead of smiling and nodding at their tales of who got off with who at the Christmas do, fix them with a hard stare and just say 'no - enough'. Then walk away.







Avoid annoying colleagues that... discuss confidential work matters openly! #SurfacePro2

4) Discusses confidential work matters openly

We've all heard the old adage 'loose lips sink ships', and if you've told a colleague something in confidence the last thing you want is them blabbing to all and sundry on their lunch. As Bob Hoskins said it may be 'good to talk', but when it comes to secrets about major changes in the workplace then even Bob would likely keep his trap shut.  








Avoid annoying colleagues that... send you emails when they're sitting directly opposite you! #SurfacePro2

5) Sends you an email when they're sitting directly opposite

You know the type. Doesn't say a word all day but taps furiously away on his keyboard like his fingers are doing the Charleston on Strictly. And who's he emailing? You - sat right next to him. In a deathly silent office it may seem easier and less embarrassing to email rather than chat. But really, isn't it a bit weird? Free yourself from such convention and rise above the cacophony of tapping keys and the hum of a water cooler to actually speak like we used to. You'll find it's really liberating.





With the Surface Pro 2 you have the option to avoid ALL of these annoying office colleague habits by having the luxury to work wherever you like! Which of those is your personal pet hate?


[Competition] - Winner announcement!

We asked you to 'pin' your pet office colleague 'hate' for the chance to win a Surface Pro 2 worth £799!

And our winner is... 

Sue Mellor

Congrats, and a big thank you to everyone who took part :)


*          *          *          *          *


Here's how we asked you to enter: 

1) Follow  Currys PC World on Pinterest (

2) Pin your 'pet office hate' from the 'Top five nightmare colleague traits' below. 

3) Post the link to your pin in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Competition dates: 6th Jan 2014 and ends 11.59pm 12th Jan 2014. Full terms and conditions found here 

How to get the 'Pin It' button:

Pinterest provides a handy 'Pin It' button for your browser's toolbar. This can be downloaded here:

Simply click and drag the button to your toolbar, and you'll be able to pin directly from this page.