What's The Leading Pet Peeve In The Office? Noisy Co-Workers, Says Ask.com

People want an environment that lets them work effectively

Coworkers discuss a project
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Maybe Marissa Mayer was right. The Yahoo! CEO caught a lot of flak last spring when she killed the company's work from home policy. But to hear Lisa Ross, VP of HR for the question-answering search company ask.com, Mayer's on the right track. According to a Harris Interactive/ask.com poll, most people say they would just as soon work in an office with other people -- if and when the conditions are right.

"What people really want is an environment where they can be the most efficient and effective," says Ross. "They're happier if they know they have the possibility to work from home, but want the best of both worlds," she added, citing a Stanford Study that showed companies that allow employees to work from home have a happier, better adjusted work force.

With this in mind, at South by Southwest Interactive on Friday, Ross shared the results of a recent private poll ask.com took of its own employees, as it seeks to make its offices a place people want to go.

First, one of the things ask.com discovered was what kept people from coming into the office: The number one answer (61 percent) was noisy co-workers. Number two was getting sick from a fellow co-worker. "We asked employees, if they could work in any environment, what would they pick?" Ross said. "We thought that what they'd want were bright and shiny things like firepoles to get downstairs fast. But what we found was they wanted to work in an office that allowed them to work smarter, where they could transition easily."

Employees want to work in an open-air environment, Ross says, but they also want an abundance of meeting rooms to easily transition into private conversations. And they want a wide variety of meeting rooms - large ones, small ones, some with whiteboards, some with video conferencing, others for private phone calls.

"One of the biggest complaints we heard was about the frustrations of finding meeting rooms - two people in a large one, somebody monopolizing a meeting room for a single phone call," Ross says.

She also said that employees want companies to help them embrace tools that enable them to work remotely effectively: Google hangouts, great internet connection, a landline for easier phone communication.

"As society and people evolve, companies need to, too," Ross says. "We need to understand employees' needs, and marry those needs with the company's culture and what the company ultimately needs."

> Find a job at a company that lets you work from an office and at home

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poll, most people say they would just as soon work in an office with other people -- if and when the conditions are right.

Work?? In an office?? That be a conflict in terms. Actual work is not done in an office, thats where pencils get pushed around, donuts by the pound gets stuffed down some sit on thy azz person. Water gets drunk while people just stand around the cooler. These so called workers need to get a REEL job.

March 11 2014 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate it when the pencil sharpener is too far from my desk, or when I have to walk all the way down the hall to get fresh coffee in the break room. What really drives me crazy is when someone takes the last chocolate chip cookie and doesn't throw the box in the trash can. Also I don't have a place to hang my cardigan sweater, so I have to keep it on the back of my comfy swivel chair. Waaaaahhh Waaaahhh

March 10 2014 at 2:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob's comment

Better shoot thy self then bobby.

March 11 2014 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At age 50, I found a way to check out of the rat race and have worked at home for over 4 years now. All I can say is if you can do it, you are one of the lucky ones. No more commuting, elevators, meetings, reviews, mandatory one hour lunch breaks, bosses, schedules, and alarm clocks, and getting sick twice a year ( I have been sick once since I quit). The only thing I miss is that I dated a lot of women from the office over the years. We had good turnaround, so there was always a fresh supply of 30+ year old divorcees as a captive audience for "advancement."

March 10 2014 at 2:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Employees that take umpteen smoke breaks during the day and the non smokers do not get to take breaks like that.

March 10 2014 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to merstockgto's comment

Take up smoking then stocker, and breath deep as you can, hold it in, then choke.

March 11 2014 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lousy managers from the top to the bottom that have no business being managers.

March 10 2014 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
car nut

good pet peeve is when a manager tries to tell you how to do your job when they have no clue. Happens all the time in an auto shop, they hire managers just because they have a management degree, even though they've never checked the oil in their own car before.

March 10 2014 at 12:08 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to car nut's comment

that's the ones that I like to have the all you can eat bean buritto lunch and go into their office when they step out and rip one off that will peel the paint off the walls

March 10 2014 at 12:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
car nut

This sounds bad, but I worked in an automotive repair shop for a few years, and the other mechanics always complained when I used an air tool that was loud. So I stopped using it and that made my labor charge go up because it took twice as long to do the job. In the end, the customer paid the price. Another way shops make money that no one knows about, and most shops laugh at the fact. Another job at a paint shop, co workers use to complain about the smell of the paint when I sprayed a car. Drove me nuts, we worked at a paint shop.

March 10 2014 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1. Co-workers that always brag about their life (pretending to be rich, important etc...). Then actually seeing them at the store and finding out they really are not what who they say they are.

2. Farting. Then pretending like they didn't do it. Walking off and leaving the funk.

3. Gossip.

4. Political Fanatics who always have to walk around and comment about everything the politicians are doing.

5. Co-workers who bring stinky lunches that en-fumigate the microwave and the entire eating area.

March 09 2014 at 11:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to tiffanygbedford's comment

Noisy work place is a great pet peeve but my biggest pet peeve is probably control freak management. Worse than that Control freak management who has insecure marriage. He is manager, you a female a employee, wife of manager calls every 15 min. to find out what husband is doing and despite the fact that you are 20years older wife thinks you are messing with her bald, control freak husband. Next pet peeve, the manager has no idea what your job is. Lastly, big pet peeve is seeing said manager on a daily basis, but at 6 month and yearly evaluation he informs you that you did are are doing something other than the way he wants you to do it. Leaves one feeling that they missed out on the class of ESP. Retired now, Thank the good lord.

March 09 2014 at 11:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

How about FRESH AIR and NATURAL SUNLIGHT??? Fluorescent lighting and stale air- might as well be a prison cell.

March 09 2014 at 11:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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