4 Annoying Work Habits That Employees Avoid By Not Going Back To The Office

Keep your peace, stay at home.

happy woman working from home Kinga / Shutterstock

Over the past four years, the way we work has changed completely. We have moved away from physical offices to our couches and dining room tables. Morning meetings have gone virtual, lunches are made, not bought, and our morning commute is nonexistent, saving us both time and money.

There are clear signs that working from home helps us maintain a better work-life balance. The flexibility it awards boosts productivity, yet many companies are now requiring employees to return to the office.


Out of the many reasons workers would rather be remote, one reason, in particular, is leading people to skip out on office life: Their co-workers. A survey by Indeed, reported on by Fortune, revealed that one in five workers actually avoid the office to get away from annoying co-workers. Yet it’s not just low or mid-level employees who try to evade the office for this reason: 25% of senior managers admitted to eschewing their own return-to-office mandates because of “irritating staff.”

Here are 4 annoying habits that employees avoid by not going back to the office:

1. Gossiping

Over 1,000 workers and 500 bosses in the U.K. were surveyed about what’s holding them back from returning to the office, and their major complaint was one very pervasive habit: gossiping.


Some forms of gossiping can be healthy, helping us feel closer to the people we work with while keeping the conversation light. Discussing neutral or positive topics can foster a sense of connection, but when gossip turns toxic, it can cause definitive harm. 

4 Annoying Work Habits That Employees Avoid By Not Going Back To The OfficePhoto: sirtravelalot / Shutterstock

RELATED: Woman’s Job Unexpectedly Made All Workers Return To Office Despite Their Contracts Saying They Could All Work From Home


Gossip in the workplace is entirely normal, but it can create an atmosphere of distrust and competition. Gossiping can be hard to disengage from, especially once that pattern has already been established. Setting clear boundaries with your co-workers is key to keeping your inner peace.

2. Oversharing

More than 20% of surveyed workers complained that their co-workers shared too much personal information with them on a consistent basis. Talking about weekend plans while waiting for your coffee to brew is one thing, but it’s a whole other thing to tell everyone about your cat’s colonoscopy or what your mother-in-law said at dinner. 



It doesn’t help that so much of our daily experience is broadcast online: We know a lot more about the inner workings of our co-workers’ lives than people did in decades past. 


When we’re working in the comfort of our own home, we can bask in the comforting glow of our laptop screens without overhearing the person in the next cubicle talking loudly about their toddler’s potty-training routine.

3. Flirting

Some workplace behavior has never been appropriate, whether employees are in a board room or working remotely.

Blurring the lines between coworkers is always a bad scene, and flirting is one habit that has no place in an office. 

4 Annoying Work Habits That Employees Avoid By Not Going Back To The OfficePhoto: Dikushin Dmitry / Shutterstock


Flirting might be framed as innocuous, but without vocal and active consent from both parties, it can get uncomfortable very quickly. People should be able to show up at work without worrying about having this particular boundary crossed, especially in a professional setting. 

RELATED: A New Study Reveals Just How Much Return-To-Office Mandates Are Costing Workers: A Month's Worth Of Groceries

4. Getting talked over

We’ve all been in a meeting with that one co-worker who can’t seem to stop themselves from talking over other people, whether it’s to counter a point they’re making or agree with an observation. 

Being interrupted and talked over makes us feel like we’re not being heard — because we literally aren’t. This behavior becomes even more harmful when it comes from a manager or boss because of the imbalance of power at play. 


It's not surprising that 76% of workers who were made to go back to the office are considering quitting.



While working from home might not solve this issue entirely, it’s significantly easier to ask everyone to keep their microphones muted during a presentation than it is to stop people from blabbing over you in real life.

Talking over co-workers ties into other damaging habits in a toxic workplace that people want to avoid. Forty-six percent reported feeling frustrated when other employees take credit for their work, a move that can seriously hinder your ability to get ahead in your career. 


Thirty-four percent of workers said that being micromanaged was another annoying habit that they were trying to get away from by not going into the office. 

No work environment will ever be perfect, but in an ideal world, management would take what their employees want into account, and what employees want is to work from home.

RELATED: HR Expert Calls Out Executive Who Issued A Return To Office Mandate Because 'You Can Have A Job Working From Home But You Can't Have A Career'

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture and all things to do with the entertainment industry.