Hygiene habits & workplace kitchens leading cause of disputes at work


  • 67% of office workers have fallen out over kitchen habits
  • 35% have sent a passive aggressive email or left a note about annoying behaviours

New research has surprisingly revealed that the area of work most likely to see disagreements is the shared office kitchen.

Leading household appliances retailer, AppliancesDirect.co.uk, spoke to 1,000 UK office workers, and research revealed that a staggering 67% admitted to falling out with a colleague over kitchen cleanliness and washing up in the past 12 months.  Staff also revealed the other pet peeves that annoy them in the office.

  • Talking loudly also regularly upsets half (52%) of UK office workers, while
  • lateness and poor timekeeping registered high on the list of frustrations for 45%.
  • 37% cited bad personal hygiene, including body odour, coffee breath and cigarette smoke laden clothing.
  • More than a quarter (28%) listed inclusion in drinks rounds as a point of contention.

A quarter (23%) of office workers reported falling out over running out of milk, coffee and tea bags. Lost or stolen food and drink also caused frustration for 17% of office workers.

When faced with these problems, 15% have directly confronted a colleague, while a third (35%) have sent a passive aggressive email or left a note.

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at AppliancesDirect.co.uk comments:

“The office is a place for productivity, although the research shows that things can boil over especially when it comes to kitchen etiquette. A harmonious workplace can be disrupted by small stresses, with the data showing those in typically more pressured industries and environments have a higher level of frustration, and lower patience threshold.”

Younger members of staff, those aged 18-24, were most likely to confront a colleague and resolve their issues.

Those working in financial services (93%) reported the highest level of office upsets, followed by information and communications (89%).

Healthcare (85%), real estate (84%) and education (83%) industries rounded off the top five industries most likely to see a workplace dispute.


‘Brosch Direct have created this hand washing guide to help you keep on top of personal hygiene in the workplace.’

Author: Editorial Team

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