The 8 Worst Types of Colleagues

It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do for a job, annoying colleagues are part and parcel of working life. But while anyone can grate on you after 40 hours a week together, some employees seem to go above and beyond in the irritating stakes.

Here’s eight of the worst: do you recognise any your colleagues?

The Annoying-Habiter

They hum while they type. They constantly gnaw on their fingernails in meetings. And they seem to have a particular penchant for eating sardine-and-egg sandwiches at their desk every day.

Worst of all, the Annoying Habiter is otherwise a perfectly nice person, making you feel horribly guilty for wishing that they’d come down with a mild but house-confining affliction that would force them to work remotely forever more.

The Oversharer

The Oversharer will wait till you foolishly leave the safety of your desk to grab a cup of coffee, then corner you in the kitchen to tell you about how their girlfriends just dumped them, again. They suspect it’s something to do with their uncontrollable genuphobia.

You’re forced to nod along politely while secretly wondering what their name is and whether you’ve ever even spoken to them before.

sad fruit pixy

 The Thief

You spent hours slaving away over a spaghetti carbonara to be proud of, but within hours of carefully placing your labelled lunch box in the fridge, it’s been snaffled by some unknown assailant.

One passive-aggressive email later, you’re no closer to identifying the culprit, but you strongly suspect it’s the same thief who stole your favourite mug, and every pen in the office.

The Micro-Manager

They’re probably not even your actual manager, but every time you try to get down to work they appear at your shoulder to tell you the “right” way to do it.

After sending them a document to check over, they tell you they’ve helpfully ‘tweaked’ it by replacing every single word. And the font type.

 The Brown-Nose

The Brown-Nose might as well be your boss’ shadow, they spend so much time hanging around them. You’ve never yet managed to have a conversation with your supervisor without being interrupted by them bringing over a fresh cup of coffee for the boss, although they’ve never offered you so much as a crisp.

During meetings they contribute no ideas of their own but agree fanatically with everything your manager says. They’re also the ones sending mass emails around the office at Christmas time, suggesting rather aggressively that everyone “chip in” to send your “hard-working” boss away on a ski trip with her family.

mad heart pixy

 The Perfectionist

You dashed off a quick email to them asking for a project update, only to have it returned to you with your spelling and grammatical errors highlighted.

During one memorable sales meeting, a potential new client pronounced a word wrong, and the Perfectionist refused to carry the conversation on until he could repeat it correctly after her.

 The Gossip

When they immediately added you on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter within five minutes of starting your job, you assumed they were just being friendly. Too late, you discovered it is was so they could share your relationship status, holiday destinations and house net worth with everyone else in the office.

Whenever a colleague is getting promoted or fired, the Gossip is somehow always the first to know, and takes pains to ensure everyone but the person in question is quickly informed.

The Joker

The Joker is clearly the wrong side of forty but has self-styled himself as the office “lad” and still thinks it’s hilarious to tell you that you missed a call from Mr I. P. Freely. Every. Single. Day.

The Joker is always coming up with amusing pranks to keep the office spirits up, such as pulling chairs away from desks as people go to sit down and putting salt in the milk.



Beth Leslie writes careers advice for Inspiring Interns, who specialise in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs listings for roles.




Beth Leslie

Beth Leslie is a professional writer and blog editor. She pens career and lifestyle advice for everyone from undergrads to seasoned professionals, and has published 90+ articles on 30+ sites. You can find her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter @bethanygrace92.