Remote working habits and behaviours: The frustrating and the endearing – Human Resources Online

As the lines between work and home have blurred since working remotely, 52% of workers reported finding direct messaging out of work hours particularly annoying.

Are you guilty of muting and un-muting at the wrong time during your Zoom calls? It is no surprise that workers have developed certain habits over the two years since remote working became the norm.

On that note, Premier Inn recently surveyed over 1,000 working professionals to find the most endearing — and annoying — behaviours while working from home. How many can you identify with?

*While this survey was conducted in the UK, HRO believes the content is very much relatable and applicable to our audience in all markets.

 The top 10 most frustrating habits experienced: 

  1. Slow responses to emails/direct messages when they’re online — 61%
  2. Background noise on video calls — 60%
  3. Eating on camera — 59%
  4. Booking in too many video calls — 56%
  5. Muting and un-muting in the wrong places — 53%
  6. Booking in video calls when phone calls will suffice — 53%
  7. WhatsApp-ing/direct messaging out of hours — 52%
  8. Answering the phone whilst on a video call — 51%
  9. Working on something else whilst on a video call — 51%
  10. Asking you to put your camera on for a video call — 50%

Fortunately, only 9% of workers surveyed found colleagues more annoying while working remotely, while over half (53%) found colleagues less irritating away from the office. The remaining 38% reported that their colleagues were just as annoying working remotely as they were when working in an office. Overall, over half (51%) of workers surveyed revealed that their colleagues displayed annoying behaviours at least two to three times a week.

On a more positive note, those surveyed also indicated habits and behaviours they found endearing:

  1. Messaging to ask how you are — 64%
  2. Replying quickly  —  62%
  3. Giving full attention during a video call — 61%
  4. Having a daily catch-up call for morale — 55%
  5. Sharing weekend plans — 54%
  6. Introducing/showing pets  — 53%
  7. Praising publicly via email/slack etc.  — 51%
  8. Sharing funny memes/videos  — 49%
  9. Planning socials — 48%
  10. Scheduling video tea/coffee catch-ups — 47%

Respondents also reflected upon their own behaviours and admitted some habits they were guilty of: 

  1. Drinking on camera — 70%
  2. Not putting on a camera on a video call — 67%
  3. Working on something else whilst on a video call — 67%
  4. Not looking directly into the camera on a video call — 65%
  5. Slow responses to emails/direct messages when they’re online — 63%

Additionally, when it came to the remote working behaviours workers tried to avoid doing the most themselves, eating on camera (25%), making background noise on video calls (23%), and not looking presentable on video calls (22%) ranked as the top three.

On the other hand, with more organisations exploring hybrid work arrangements, the survey also discovered annoying behaviours colleagues do while in the office:

  1. Eating loudly — 69%
  2. Sucking up to the boss in front of everyone — 68%
  3. Using loudspeakers on a phone call in office — 66%
  4. Reading over your shoulder at your desk — 66%
  5. Listening in to your calls in the office— 64%
  6. Microwaving/eating smelly food — 61%
  7. Gossiping in the office — 60%
  8. Taking too many cigarette breaks — 60%
  9. Instigating too much office chit chat — 59%
  10. Loud and/or frequent sneezing/hiccupping — 57%

ALSO READ: The most annoying corporate jargon of 2021: Give your 110%, I’ll ping you, and more


Are you guilty of any of the annoying habits/behaviour above, or would you like to share about some of the endearing habits/behaviours you and your team encourage? We’d love to feature your responses in a follow-up compilation story! Simply write in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line – ‘Annoying/endearing work behaviours’ along with a 50-word description, and we’ll have a look. 🙂


Photo / 123rf

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!  

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!  

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