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IT Managers could get the boot because of their office manners

A survey on office etiquette which polled more than 250 managers working in the technology/IT industry, has revealed that eating a colleague’s food from the fridge, or from their desk, was the worst offence that you could commit in the workplace (96% deemed it unacceptable).

The survey, conducted by online recruiters showed that sometimes what you think are innocent antics can actually offend your colleagues.

The next bugbear on Technology/IT Managers lists was bad hygiene – smelly breath and dirty clothes (95%). Just behind was ‘bad habits’ such as flossing your teeth with a paperclip (89%) and picking your nose.

Other annoyances that scored highly were: not offering to share office chores (83%), wastefulness (82%) and loud talking (80%).

Eating smelly food in the office (78%), bad language (75%) and drinking at lunchtime (64%) were deemed slightly less offensive.

74% of IT/Technology Managers polled said that they had worked alongside a person who offended colleagues with a complete lack of respect.

When it comes to hiring and firing for office etiquette offences senior managers in the IT/Technology industry were slightly more lenient compared to other industries, with only 12% of bosses having fired an employee for a breach of etiquette in the workplace. However 69% of those questioned said that they had warned an employee for it. Of those that had fired someone, bad language came in as the main reason (65%).

Sarah Drew, General Manager of says: “Some argue that in the 21st century employers should move with the times and accept people’s behaviour as just having adapted to the changes in society, but employees beware, in every office there exists an invisible line between professional and unprofessional behaviour – just make sure you know where that line is.”

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.