What French workers loathe most: Their smelly colleagues

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 11 Oct, 2016 Updated Tue 11 Oct 2016 14:23 CEST
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For office workers in France, the nightmare colleague is not the one who talks too loud or sniffles all day, it's the one who pongs, a survey revealed on Tuesday.


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.

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.



The Local 2016/10/11 14:23

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