• France's news in English
What French workers loathe most: Their smelly colleagues
Photo: Briant Fit/Flickr

What French workers loathe most: Their smelly colleagues

The Local · 11 Oct 2016, 14:23

Published: 11 Oct 2016 14:23 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The French have long had to endure Anglo stereotypes about not being the most hygienic of folk. Although the slight is blatantly unfair it was given a little credence on Tuesday in a new survey of office workers around the country.

The survey picked out all habits that workers hate the most about their colleagues and the number one issue was a lack of hygiene.

Some 29 percent of French people cannot bear “dirty or smelly” colleagues in their workplace.

The least tolerant of the malodorous proved to be female workers, the survey revealed.

Jéremie Piquandet from the Institute CSA, which carried out the poll, was not surprised by the results.

“The question of hygiene becomes so important especially when we are sharing the open space in a work place,” he told Direct Matin news site.

“We are in closer proximity than ever before.”

Apart from bad smells the other type of colleague that riles French workers is the lazy one.

French workers are often portrayed as workshy abroad, mostly due to the famous 35-hour week, which pretty much no one works anyway. In fact the average working week is 39.5 hours but it seems workers, particular the young ones, still have a gripe with colleagues not putting in a shift.

Indeed some 25 percent of respondents (32 percent of young workers) said laziness was what annoyed them the most about colleagues.

“The active population, who are more motivated and more invested believe a lazy worker slows down the team through their lack of investment,” said Piquandet.

Story continues below…

And in bronze medal position for the habits French workers find most irritating about their colleagues: brown nosing, or ass kissing as it might be called.

In fact it was mostly men, 21 percent, who found this trait the most annoying.

Among other faults highlighted, although nowhere near as unpopular as the top three, were workers who are indiscreet, noisy, or always complaining.

Do the French really have hygiene issues? Read The Local's top ten myths about the French.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available