The 6 types of annoying co-workers. And how you can deal with them (infographic)

"Hell," said the French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, "is other people."

But that's not quite correct.

Hell isn't other people; it's working with other people. Or, to be more specific, it's working with other people you don't like!

And you're not alone in this suffering.

As this latest study from Brother shows, a huge portion of US and UK workers can't stand the people they're forced to spend 40hours+ a week with.

Brother.CO.UK analyzed geotagged Twitter data with sentiment software to see which US and UK cities produce the highest proportion of negative tweets referring to co-workers.

They put all the data into the maps below and even added a helpful guide on how to handle the most annoying types of co-workers.

The (un)United Kingdom

Southend on Sea has the worst co-workers, according to the research from Brother Around 1 in 3 (30.27%) of work colleague-related tweets coming out of the coastal town were negative; that's more than anywhere else in the UK. Common gripes include lazy co-workers, bad bosses, and office gossips.

There's also some serious workplace disharmony in Peterborough (29.21%), Middlesbrough (28.07%), and Liverpool (27.31%).

The vast majority of workers in Northampton have nothing bad to say about the people they work with. Or if they do, they don't say it on Twitter. Just 17.62% of Northampton’s work-colleague tweets were considered negative.

UK counties with the worst workers

Workers in Glasgow are having a really hard time getting along with their teammates. The three UK counties with the biggest proportion of negative tweets are all located within or near the Scottish city. They are South Ayrshire (32.9%), Inverclyde (32.83%), and West Dunbartonshire (32.7%).

The fourth spot belongs to the Northern Irish county Derry and Strabane. Almost a third of Derry and Strabane workers regularly indulge in a Twitter rant about the people they work with.

But Northern Ireland is also where you'll find the UK's most harmonious county - at least when it comes to liking your co-workers. Only 13.39% of work colleague tweets in Causeway Coast are disparaging. Then again, it's pretty easy to stay 'chill' when you live in an idyllic seaside county with less than a few thousand residents.

Deep divisions in the USA

The USA's political and cultural landscapes are sharply divided. And with the 2024 election approaching (and the possible return of that Orange Man), we shouldn't expect the healing process to start anytime soon.

This might explain why US workers are having such a tough time dealing with each other. Out of the 50th biggest US cities, only a handful had a negative co-worker tweet ratio of less than 30%. They include San Francisco and Boston.

Washington scored surprisingly low (24.72%.) You'd expect the nation's capital to be a hotbed of division. Maybe all those Republican and Democratic senators are closer friends than we'd like to think.

Mesa, Arizona, had the highest proportion of negative work tweets. A staggering 40.1% contained unflattering assessments of co-workers.

Detroit came next (40.6%), followed by Tulsa (39.01%).

Are the US states any better?

Things look even worse on the US state level. Only three states (Montana, Texas, and Massachusetts) scored lower than 30% on the bad co-worker tweet ratio index.

The remainder of the 50 US states averaged around 35%.

Alaska is the (big) outlier. 43.21% of its worker tweets were not positive. That's the highest score out of anywhere in the entire study.

It might have something to do with the nature of work in Alaska. The state's primary industries are timber, mining, and oil. These are hard jobs where people work in close proximity for months on end, and often far away from home. We can all get a little annoying under those conditions.

The different types of annoying co-workers

Brother created six annoying co-worker archetypes that we've all had the misfortune to come across. They include the following:

The workplace bully
: The most toxic co-worker. Suffering from a severe case of arrested development, they treat the office like a school playground. Workplace bullies are nowhere near as tough as they want you to think. You only need to stand up to them once.

The micromanager: Super annoying. Can't help sticking their noses into everything. They think they're helping, but micromanagers slow everything down to a crawl.

The manipulator: Always whispering into your ear. Loves playing people against each other. They should never be trusted. Take nothing they say at face value. There's always an ulterior motive.

The insincere flatterer: Otherwise known as the 'suck-up' or the 'you know what' kisser. Their attempts are painfully transparent. The flatterer's unceasing desire for approval often stems from a place of deep insecurity.

The workplace gossip: Every office has one. The office gossip feeds off drama and other people's misfortune. Do not engage or play their games. Ever. Will often come disguised as a friend or shoulder to cry on. But they are the wolf in sheep's clothing. Tell them nothing you want kept private. Gossips will gossip about everyone, including you.

The slacker: Always has an excuse. Nothing is ever their fault. Feels no shame that you're the person picking up their slack every single day of the week. They're banking on you never calling them out. If you don't say something soon, they will keep treating you like a sucker.

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, you'll find a full guide on handling these annoying co-workers in the infographic below.

Don't just tweet about a problem co-worker; deal with them. Learn, how to deal with the different types of annoying co-workers in the infographic below.

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