The 10 Most Annoying Work-From-Home Behaviors

She's waiting for someone to figure out where the mute button is.
She's waiting for someone to figure out where the mute button is. / FG Trade/iStock via Getty Images

Working from home has its perks. You don’t have to waste time commuting to and fro, you get to control the thermostat, and you can feasibly wear pajama pants without anybody noticing. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve even worked straight from bed on occasion.

But working from home comes with its own set of drawbacks—and coworkers can still annoy you even from afar. Hotel service Premier Inn recently surveyed 1000 UK-based remote workers to find out which WFH behaviors bother them the most. Sixty-one percent of participants find it irksome when their colleagues are slow to respond to emails or other messages when they’re obviously online. That habit topped the list; sending messages outside of normal work hours, on the other hand, came in sixth place.

Those two entries make it clear that navigating work-life balance can be tough. Navigating Zoom etiquette isn’t easy, either, as evidenced by the rest of the list: The other eight entries have to do with video calls. Failure to properly mute or un-mute yourself is annoying; eating on camera is annoying; trying to get other work done during a call is annoying; and so on. The video part of video calls also generates a lot of irritation: People don’t appreciate being asked to turn on their cameras, and they don’t like involving video at all when the conversation could’ve taken place over the phone.

That said, workers seem to have fewer behavioral pet peeves at home than in the office. Just 9 percent of survey participants reported being more bothered by their coworkers remotely than in person. And there are plenty of charming parts of WFH culture, too—like seeing people’s pets onscreen and sharing memes.

See the full list of most annoying WFH behaviors below, and explore the rest of the survey results here.

  1. Slow responses to emails or direct messages while online (61 percent)
  2. Background noise on video calls (60 percent)
  3. Eating on camera (59 percent)
  4. Scheduling too many video calls (56 percent)
  5. Muting and un-muting video calls at the wrong times (53 percent)
  6. Scheduling video calls when phone calls would suffice (53 percent)
  7. Sending direct messages outside of work hours (52 percent)
  8. Answering a phone call during a video call (51 percent)
  9. Working on something else during a video call (51 percent)
  10. Asking people to turn on their cameras for video calls (50 percent)