Why do people click 'reply to all' in an email when replying to the originator alone would suffice? This normally generates a further set of emails from those copied in, asking not to be copied in.

  • Why do some people blank you only minutes after being in a perfectly sociable meeting or conversation with you?

  • Why do people get competitive when supposedly working in one team towards the same goal?

  • Why do people pick up on small mistakes while not praising large achievements?

  • But the most common work frustration mentioned by office workers was people emailing them even though they only work a few yards away, which made many of them decide not to reply.

These were just some of the many work related frustrations I elicited when carrying out my own straw poll on what annoys people about their colleagues at work.

As someone who has just moved job because of the four-hour daily commute in my previous role, I have had a fair amount of time on the M25 to think about this issue.

So what are the consequences of frustrated employees?

We already know mental health issues are generally at the top (or second to musculoskeletal problems and injuries) of the list of reasons for absence from work.

But how many of those stressors could be avoided?

The most common reason people give for leaving their role is the attitude of their manager/management.

Yet we also know that supportive managers keep staff longer, have better staff satisfaction survey results and are remembered positively long after we have stopped working for them.

These days, one should really think long and hard before considering a change in role.

Through mentoring people in recent years, I have suggested to each of them when they have mentioned wanting to move roles that they seriously consider staying put unless they have a genuinely overwhelming reason for wanting to move.

The message from this is always: keep in touch with what your staff are feeling and thinking. Do what you can to address their issues as by doing so you are likely to reap substantial rewards in terms of loyalty, satisfaction and retention.

In my experience, the most common problem people have with their immediate manager is understanding what their manager wants from them and knowing how well their manager thinks they are doing.

This is pretty basic stuff but it is surprising how often it comes up.

Finally, my personal favourites of the non-work related frustrations felt by those in my straw poll have to be the people who sneeze, cough or yawn without covering their mouths and those who engage in an "elbow rest battle" on public transport.

It is a frustrating world out there. Some of it we can change, some of it is just people!