I came across this article in my twitter feed and it stood out as these 10 *blah* and 5 *blah lists often do. However given that we spend more time with our work colleagues than our loved ones I thought it might be an interesting share to see if these traits ring true with our community members.

Joking aside some of these annoying traits can be some times left to HR to deal with - especially in some extreme cases so again there is vested interest for HR. So what are these traits?

The original piece is from the ILM and can be found here but to save you time you can find the top 10 below 

  • The toxic employee. Everyone has a few grumbles about work from time to time and it's completely natural to share these occasional frustrations with colleagues. But then there are some employees who can never see the bright side of anything. Instead the presence of this poisonous pessimist casts a dark cloud over your office and makes your work life completely miserable. Yes, horrible bosses can be responsible for killing office morale but so can rotten employees.
  • The social media addict. They naively think you haven't noticed they've spent all morning nosey-ing around on Facebook and sharing their pointless observations on Twitter. And then have the cheek to grumble when you don't react favourably to their request for a deadline extension on a report they owed you yesterday.
  • The heating aficionado. They complain about it being too hot in the summer and insist on wearing their coat at their desk as a blatant protest against the air con being on in the winter. Short of issuing them a personal thermostat for their desk, you can never make this sensitive soul happy.
  • Mr or Mrs Defensive. We all know employees hate appraisals but so do managers. And its not just because of all the extra paperwork. Having to deal with an employee who bursts into tears or reacts with rage to any hint of negative feedback makes it impossible for you to do your job (or, more to the point, coach them to reach their career goals).
  • The hide behind email type. Mild-mannered and reasonable in person but a complete Rottweiler when let loose with a keyboard. These employees fail to understand that some issues (particularly sensitive issues such as pay and employee relations) are best discussed face-to-face.
  • The office lightweight. Babysitting a peek-too-soon party pooper really puts a dampener on a team night out. And then they rub salt into the wound by rolling into the office late and giving off a foul odour of alcohol the morning after.
  • The office gossip. Their respect for the truth is far less than their hunger for scandal. When the sensitive news about a staff restructuring gets leaked at a greatly inflated scale or a story about a co-workers unsavoury past gets unearthed, you can always guess the source.
  • The loveem and leaveem lothario. There's nothing like an office romance to upset the delicate balance of office life. And the only thing more annoying than dealing with the productivity fall-out of their long, lust-fuelled lunches is the cut-the-atmosphere-with-a-knife tension when his or her lingering looks stray elsewhere.
  • The know-it-all. They've more than likely been with the company longer than you and regularly recount tales of this is how we did it in the good old days.
  • The wannabe BFF. They invade your desk at every opportunity, flood your inbox with articles they think you might like (and then interrogate you on them) and invite you to lunch. Every day. Their well-intentioned actions make them possibly the trickiest breed of office nuisance to manage.

So do you recognise any of these annoying traits from your own workplace?

Do you have employees that drive you up the wall?

Have you ever had to deal with an annoying employee from a HR perspective?

We'd love to you know what you think in comments below 

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  • Hi Mike,

    I can honestly (and somewhat unfortunately) say that I worked with everyone on this list- although thankfully, not at the same time!

    I think that when you are exposed to these personalities in day to day life, it can sometimes help you to become diplomatic in terms of how to deal with them. I definitely think there's another trait that has been missed off the list-

    The Interupter- This person regularly listens to conversations that do not concern them and offers input into situations they know nothing about, all while referring to how long they've been with the company and how this implies that they know best.


  • Hi Mike

    Just goes to show how adaptable we have to be as HR professionals at dealing with people!



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