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Global study notes differences in pet peeves

Veronica C. Silva | Oct. 27, 2011
Professionals in social media generally hate people not taking ownership for their actions.

Almost everyone has a pet peeve -- something annoying that really gets into their bones no matter what. Even professionals are not immune from such annoyances, and a study by social networking website LinkedIn even reveals that people across cultures and countries have their own specific pet peeves.

One thing is common though. Among a study of more than 17,000 LinkedIn users from 16 countries worldwide, the top pet peeve is "People not taking ownership for their actions," which was selected by 78 percent of respondents.

Completing the top five global pet peeves are: constant complainers, dirty common areas, starting meetings late or going long, and people who don't respond to e-mails.

"Some of the seemingly harmless workplace habits, such as people not taking ownership for actions can result in conflicts in the workplace," said Chan Ngee Key, career coach & strategist, YourOwn360. "Most of these can be easily resolved. For example, taking ownership is not just about doing your task well, but also about ensuring that your whole team works collaboratively. Always put yourself in the shoes of your coworkers to recognise how changing some habits will help create a more favourable impression of you in the workplace."

Cultural differences

Aside from the top five pet peeves, the study noted differences in responses across cultures and geographies. Americans easily get irritated by colleagues taking others' food from the office fridge, while Brazilians are most annoyed about excessive gossiping.

Indians react more negatively to irritating mobile phone ringtones, and Japanese are more peeved by office pranks.

There were also differences noted according to gender. Some 57 percent of Singaporean women were bothered by "clothing that's too revealing for the workplace," while only 29 percent of Singaporean men surveyed found that annoying. The Swedish are found to be the most tolerant of what others wear in the workplace, but the study also noted a difference in preferences between men and women.  Revealing clothing irritates 35 percent of the women in Sweden, but only 12 percent of the men.

India is also the country with the most pet peeves while Italy has the least. Singapore came a close second to India.

Other countries included in the study were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK.


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