What sounds do people find most annoying in the Office?

With the country slowly re-opening once again, more and more of us are travelling back to the office for work again. This may, or may not be a relief!

Working from home definitely has some benefits, with much less travelling, chilling in your PJ’s and a little more relaxation around break times and downtime. However, there are also many downsides to working from home!

When working from home your work station is always there! Many people need the physical distance between work and home, otherwise, the two can become blurred and before you know it you’re doing many extra hours, just because!

It can also have its own list of distractions, postmen, neighbours, kids and partners can all interrupt your day in a way that they could not if you were in an office space!

Whilst we can go on listing the benefits and negatives to working from home, this blog post is going to concentrate on the annoyances that you may be re-introduced to when you step back into the office!

1) Eating loudly

This is a major annoyance for many people in the office! Sharing a space with people who eat their food in a way that belongs in a zoo can very soon become grating. Related, but not especially a noise problem is the type of food people eat. Curry and garlic can leave a strong smell that EVERYONE in the office has to deal with.

The worst though, by far, is people microwaving Fish! Even for Fish lovers, the scent is pretty awful and very overpowering. Many offices actually ban Fish in a shared workspace (which I wholeheartedly agree with!) for these reasons.

2) Overly-chatty colleagues

It’s nice to have someone to talk to in the office, as this encourages a positive atmosphere, allowing you to speak about news topics, TV shows, etc. However, I’m sure we all have that one person who non-stop gossips, which can be highly annoying if someone is trying to focus on an important task.

3) Loud clicking/typing

It’s okay, I’m sure people don’t mean to do this on purpose, but it can be really annoying to others. A good way to monitor this is by listening to other co-workers and how they type, then trying to mimic their quietness.

The same goes for clicking your mouse repeatedly or in quick succession. If you’re just loud at these habits naturally, maybe a new keyboard or mouse with silent switches is a good investment for the long term.

4) Fidgeting & Tapping

One of the biggest annoyances in any offices is the fact you have to deal with other peoples little quirks. One of the popular quirks people have is tapping! Some people tap without even knowing they are doing it. Tapping pens, fingers on a desk, feet on a metal pole… All tapping quickly becomes highly annoying to anyone who notices it.

5) Coughing and sneezing

With the very recent events following Covid, coming to work coughing or sneezing can be very worrying for co-workers nearby. The odd cough is completely fine but if it’s constant, then it’s probably best to just stay home for the time being.

6) Drinking and slurping

Hand in hand with eating loudly comes this monstrosity. It’s honestly hard to decide which trait is worse. Whether someone has a coffee, soup, or even pot noodles – this can be extremely annoying to listen to when focusing on something. Not only is it distracting, but it can take someone from perfectly calm to exceedingly irritated in a short amount of time.

7) Phone notifications

Yep, this one was inevitable. Of course, nowadays your phone is pretty much a necessity of life. You use it daily for work-related stuff, or just to keep up to date with your family and friends.

Social media notifications can be the most mind-numbing thing to others around you, nobody wants to listen to your phone pop off Instagram and Snapchat notifications. A simple fix is to just put it in vibrate only mode, or hide it in your bag for calls only!

8) Listening to music

In case you didn’t already know, headphone music can actually be heard by others if it’s over a certain volume. If you use music to focus on work, then it’s probably best to keep in mind how loud it will be for others. If it blasts your ears, chances are other colleagues will hear high pitched, muffled audio and come to know you listen to the same song every day.

9) The office dog

Not every office has a pet, but if yours does then you’ll know the pain of trying to get it to calm down.

Dogs definitely cause the most fuss when someone is trying to knock on the door, or a postman drops by to deliver a parcel. Noisy, high pitched barks can become very tiresome to listen to after a while.

10) The squeaky chair

Ah yes, finally we have the notoriously loud classic office chair. This old fiend can make people cringe just by listening to it. Some chairs are even worse than others, making a horrible screeching noise at even the slightest of movements. If grease doesn’t work, the only other option is to find a better one.

And that just about sums up our top ten picks for office annoyances! Do you have any other sounds or noises that cause you distress? Let us know on our Facebook page and find out the noises that others find annoying!

If you have had enough of any of the common annoying sounds in an office, take a look at our dedicated Office Soundproofing page. Here we’ll show you a range of products designed with reducing the noise in offices and helping increase concentration and productivity levels.