Wander past the reception into any office in the United Kingdom or indeed anywhere else you fancy, and just as Sir David Attenborough might steathily and subtly observe different species of wildlife on the African savannah, you will soon notice from being hidden surreptitiously behind that large pot plant that just like animals, there are different species of office worker; the busybody, with an ‘in’ tray as high as Mount Everest; the chatterboxes, constantly talking on the phone or to anyone within earshot (and lack of an escape route) and the quiet ones; who wish their wage packet was as golden as their silence. Others cling to the boss’ every word, eager for that golden hello and promotion. While others drone on and on about this and that. From accounts to sales and marketing, every office and department is bound to have a motley crew of different personality types, some more beneficial than others, especially when it comes to those all-important office preserves, teamwork, training new starters and the handling of big projects.
Flexioffices, an expert agency which prides itself on offering serviced office spaces to companies across the UK, has recently commissioned a fun, tongue-in-cheek nationwide survey of over 1,500 people to find out which kind of personality people most hate being stuck with when it is their turn at the water cooler. If you are curious as to what kind of office worker is most likely to induce lethal cubicle rage in their long-suffering colleagues, then the results are now in.
Around 35% of the surveyed people named the Office Know-it-all as their most hated personality, making it indeed the most hated type of office worker in the United Kingdom. This is the kind of person who (thinks) they know everything about everything. They might be useful if you have trouble getting the scanner/photocopier/printer thingamabob to work, but they also are blatant brown-nosers and have to jump into every conversation going with their not exactly needed or wanted opinions. Their fellow office workers soon rapidly tire of their useless encyclopaedic knowledge and their inflated sense of self-superiority. The ‘Know-it-all’ particularly irks people nearing retirement age and workers from Wales. If you are one of these people, it is advised to either shut up or jump out.
Number 2 – ‘The Office Slacker’
This is the man or woman whom you can say without a doubt spends their evenings sprawled in their underclothes among tonnes of pizza boxes and polystyrene containers that still smell of last month’s ‘kebab-athon’. They barely seem to have the will to even lift said pizza into their mouth at times. While what people do at home generally does not follow them to the workplace, the Office Slacker is laziness personified, 24/7, day in, day out, come rain or shine. The Slacker is that annoying type that sits back and lets everyone else, well, pick up the slack. They generally make little headway in team projects and are content to do minimal work, while still taking the credit. According to the survey it seems no-one likes a lazy colleague, most notably Londoners, who rank ‘The Office Slacker’ as the personality type they dislike working with the most. With 32% of the votes, here’s a message for work-shy individuals across the nation – it’s either time to change your attitude, or cross London off your ‘ideal places to work’ list.
Number 3 – ‘The Office Suck-up’
This is the worker who is practically the manager’s second shadow. A brown-noser of sheer excellence, they are the manager’s dream yes-man or yes-woman. No matter how diabolical the manager’s pipedream, they always agree with every little detail. The ‘Office Suck-Up’ is not the most trustworthy of colleagues. Do one thing wrong, no matter how insignificant and the Suck-Up will memorise every little detail of all your little transgressions and regurgitate it straight into the crop of the Big Boss. This is the grown-up, corporate version of the playground tittle-tattle. The walls have ears. The Flexioffices survey results suggest ‘The Office Suck-up’ received 17% of the overall votes, with the good people of the North East and Scotland particularly unimpressed with colleagues who try to worm their way to the top.
Number 4 – ‘The Office Tight-arse’
Anal retentiveness is a sport that should be entered into the Olympics. Why? Because if it did, the ‘Office Tight-arse’ would win every gold medal going for Team GB. This is the sort of person who turns into the Incredible Hulk the moment you help yourself to one measly paper clip from their desk’s bits-and-bobs. They scrupulously note down the quantity of every pack of Belvita or box of Earl Grey teabags they buy in their lunch break. Do not under any circumstance even think to ask for a spare croissant, you will feel the Fury! Nevertheless, in these belt-tightening times of austerity, it seems people have some sympathy for the ‘Office Tight-arse’, as this was the most hated office personality of a paltry 8% of surveyed participants. So maybe being a little bit of a Scrooge is not so bad. Either way, if you happen to be a corporate butt-clencher, it’s probably best to steer clear of people in the West Midlands, who expect their colleagues to display the utmost generosity and goodwill at all times. Sharing is caring.
Number 5 – ‘The Office Joker’
This is the cheeky chap/chapette that has a chuckle about anything. They love hiding your favourite mug when you run off to the bathroom. They offer you a panini for a snack, only you find it has been laced with extra hot tabasco sauce. Always grinning like the Cheshire Cat of old folklore, they fill the air with their colleagues laughter, but sometimes they can seriously reduce the seriousness of a nine-to-five and there comes a point where you really need to file that sales report for the first quarter of 2014, and you cannot concentrate because the office Michael McIntyre has made you giggle yourself into a painful cramp all around your sides. Offices can be dreary and stressful places though, and people do appreciate a laugh every now and then, which is why the Flexioffices survey found that only 7% of people find the Office Joker a joke too far. Being the office joker can help to raise morale in the team, however we all know that one person who can take their Chuckle Brothers re-enactment a tad too far. If you’re looking for an audience for your pranks and jokes, then 35-44 year old men in London are not a good place to start!
Flexioffices are also offering a quiz that office workers can answer to see which type of personality they are. We have reproduced it here, so now Brainiacs can find out whether they are an office legend or a pain in the orifice.
Now it’s your turn – take our quick scenario quiz below and find out what type of office personality you are!
1. For you, the office water cooler is an opportunity to
A) Switch the hot and cold taps around and watch the chaos unfold
B) Tell everyone else in the office who’ll listen that they shouldn’t drink from it due to the dangers of bacteria in the water caused by gradual decomposition of the plastic container
C) Keep the boss hydrated to boost your chances of a promotion
D) Drink 10 glasses at a time. All those toilet breaks shave minutes off the working week
E) Decant the water into your own containers and take it home
2. A new bar opens near the office and a work night out has been arranged, do you?
A) Tell a couple of your colleagues that they have to wear a tuxedo to the night out and they must have missed the memo
B) Attend to humour others, but you’ve already been twice yourself and read all the reviews. You know it’s terrible and can’t believe your colleagues would want to go there
C) Get to the bar before everyone else and buy the boss a drink. A little alcoholic lubrication goes a long way to earning that promotion
D) Use it as an opportunity to leave work early under the pretense of ‘saving everyone a stool at the bar’
E) Peek through the window outside the bar until you see the first round has been bought… then make your entrance
3. A new photocopier-printer has just been bought and installed in your office. Which of the following are you most likely to do?
A) Photocopy your backside
B) Comment that from your extensive research you know it isn’t the most robust model on the market and it’s only a matter of time before it breaks down
C) Tell the boss you’d be happy to monitor and report back on anyone using the photocopier-printer inappropriately. That promotion must be close now
D) Constantly open up the photocopier-printer to check on cartridge and paper levels. It’ll be home time before you know it!
E) Print your personal files and paperwork out at every opportunity
4. A young student is in the office on a week’s work experience, do you?
A) Tell them you’re all out of checkered paint and to go to the hardware shop and ask for a long weight
B) Walk up to them and say “You think youth is on your side, but experience counts for everything in this business. You’ve a lot to learn”
C) Tell the boss you’re happy to spend the whole week closely mentoring the work experience employee, even if it means doing your own work when you get home. You’re that dedicated! Anything to help that promotion along
D) Take the whole week off sick to get out of the training you were meant to prepare for them
E) Offer to take them out for lunch… then tell them you forgot your wallet and make them pay for it
5. You’re asked to go out and buy some doughnuts for an important meeting. What do you do?
A) Buy some plain doughnuts then fill them with mayonnaise. “‘Custard’ doughnut anyone?”
B) Write a 15 page email on the negative health effects of eating fatty foods, including links to medical reports and statistics on doughnut related deaths
C) First, buy everyone a plain sugar doughnut. Next, drive 37 miles to Krispy Kreme to get the most expensive, glorious looking doughnut known to man. Then it’s back to the office to present it to your boss on a silver platter. If this doesn’t get you promoted, what will?
D) Walk the two miles to the shops instead of driving there. After all, it’s a nice day outside and it would be rude not to take your time. That’s shaved a few hours off the working day nicely
E) Refuse. Even though you’ll be given the money back in a few days, there is no way on earth you’re missing out on the 0.001% interest you will earn from keeping your cash in the bank
So, which office personality are you? Find out below:
I answered A to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Joker’. Always quick to make light of any situation and never miss the opportunity to play a practical joke on your colleagues. You’re the centre of attention at office parties and people look to you to cheer them up. On the other hand, you can be a nightmare in meeting scenarios where you have been known to struggle to contain your energy.
I answered B to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Know-it-all’. Never short of an opinion or two, you’ve got all the answers and probably even know the question before it has been asked. Keeping up to date with the latest piece of technology or industry news is no problem for you, as you more than likely had something to do with creating it (in your head at least).
I answered C to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Suck-up’. Always keen to let everyone know you’re working on a Saturday, or fetch your boss a drink, you may not be the most popular figure in the office but your sucking up tactics might just help you to go all the way to the top.
I answered D to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Slacker’. Working 9-5 is no way to make a living, not in your eyes anyway. You’ll stretch out any opportunity to be away from your desk – from prolonged visits to the water cooler, through to volunteering to go and buy the milk for the tea round. Oh and you’re good at delegating tasks to other people too – very good at it in fact.
I answered E to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Tight-arse’. Stealing paperclips, taking toilet paper from work to use at home and even refusing to contribute to the company’s charitable cause, you’re the embodiment of the phrase ‘short arms, deep pockets’.
We recommend taking your results with a pinch of salt, as we are aware that no one truly falls into any one category and a healthy mix of behaviours is what makes the world go around.
Once you have your results, feel free to share them for fun with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, or tweet us directly @Flexioffices using #FlexiPersonality.
“The most disliked office personality in the UK (UK wide survey results)” – Flexioffices via journalism.co.uk [press release] (19 August 2014) http://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases/the-most-disliked-office-personality-in-the-uk-uk-wide-survey-results-/s66/a557713/
“What office personality are you? The quiz” – Flexioffices – Blog http://www.flexioffices.co.uk/what-office-personality-are-you-the-quiz
“File:Office Worker with Two Monitors.JPG” – MrChrome, Wikimedia Commons (11 December 2008) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Office_Worker_with_Two_Monitors.JPG
Bill Dimmick, Flickr via Compfight http://compfight.com/search/office-worker/1-3-1-1