Bosses driven crazy by employee habits

Poor time keeping, office romances and foul employee habits rife when working in smaller businesses, a new study reveals.

New research from AXA PPP healthcare reveals aspects of office behaviour and employee habits that bosses find most irksome.

Topping the table of annoying employee habits, from a poll of owners, MDs and senior managers were poor time-keeping (32 per cent) and office cliques (31 per cent), with respondents also reporting being repelled by ‘disgusting’ habits such as nose-picking and beard-crumbs (16 per cent), with flirting and office romances (13 per cent) bringing up the rear.

Asked about their biggest bugbears of working in a small business, in addition to arguably predictable business issues such as being under pressure from suppliers or bigger rivals (25 per cent), lacking budget for basic business necessities (20 per cent) and being stretched by the demands of their role (16 per cent), one in ten confessed to not liking people they worked with.

When asked about what they think motivates their employees, respondents pinpointed pay (32 per cent), passion for their job (25 per cent) and loyalty (16 per cent) as the top three factors driving employees to succeed.

A third (37 per cent) of respondents confirm that they own or work in a family-run business, the research also reveals some interesting insights. Over a third (35 per cent) of bosses in family enterprises said they ‘loved’ working in a family run firm and a similar proportion (32 per cent) said that they liked ‘working towards a common goal’.

Iain McMillan, director of SME for AXA PPP healthcare, comments, ‘Working in a small business can mean spending a lot of time with the same people. And, for many who work in relatively small premises, there’s often little reprieve from other employee habits and behaviours.

‘However, in spite of the pet peeves and distractions, remember that your people are vital to your business’ success, so it’s important to have a clear common goal you can all buy into and work to achieve.

‘Nobody’s perfect and bosses would be wise to take a step back when employees’ irksome habits get on their nerves and, rather than getting wound up, remember that a person’s strengths can far outweigh their weakness.’

Further reading on employee habits

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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