The biggest problems in the workplace tend to be caused by irritating colleagues, according to a survey of 2,000 British adults collated by budgeting account provider thinkmoney.

Patronising colleagues who don’t listen and always talk over people are the biggest irritation, followed by loud talkers, people who eat smelly or noisy food at their desks and co-workers who come in late and leave early.

Ian Williams, spokesperson for thinkmoney, says:

“Everyone knows what it’s like to spend a day listening to others chatting about their holiday or their dog, or having to put up with a patronising colleague who doesn’t listen to your view. All of these things can make a day in the office feel like it’s going on forever.”

Williams suggests that such distractions can negatively affect a business through staff productivity. He says:

“While banter at work is good for team spirits, too much chat, overly hot rooms or long, pointless meetings can damage your motivation and performance.”

The atmosphere of an office can also have an effect. Working in buildings with no natural light or places that are either too hot or too cold are also on the list of annoyances, along with being forced to sit through pointless meetings full of jargon such as “blue sky thinking”.

Aside from daily irritations, the research showed that two thirds of workers are unhappy in their roles because they have too much to do for the amount of appreciation and remuneration they receive.

When faced with these situations, colleagues can actually be the biggest help. British workers reported that trustworthy workmates often save the day with their honesty and dependability.