The last long weekend of the summer looms with Labour Day. A day off is always welcome. This one celebrates workers too, with its roots in the union movement.

While some people still fight for progress, working conditions have come a long way. The origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced to the demands of the Toronto Typographical Union for just a 58-hour week.

If you feel safe and suitably compensated at work, you might have different annoyances than, say, a 12-hour day. Getting irked by the relatively trivial is actually good; it’s an indication of how much we’ve advanced.

Yet workers do have countless pet peeves, and many seem to revolve around communications., a design and signage site, conducted a survey on the most unacceptable communication habits. Workopolis and Monster, two jobs sites, also compiled lists of the irritating traits of colleagues. And OnePoll did a survey on cringeworthy office phrases. From all of those, in no particular order, are 13 communication-related behaviours that drive us nuts at work.

  1. Uses a speakerphone in an open/shared environment
  2. Gossips
  3. Talks behind someone’s back
  4. Sends e-mails to the entire team
  5. Uses “reply all” in e-mails
  6. Fails to keep you phone on silent
  7. Talks on the phone in the bathroom
  8. Sends joke e-mails to the team
  9. Keeps earphones on all day
  10. Speaks in jargon – “think outside the box”, “push the envelope”, “deep dive”, etc.
  11. Commits style sins like using ALL CAPS in e-mails/texts, or improper bold or italics
  12. Eats or drinks loudly
  13. Whistles or sings incessantly

So enjoy the reprieve from all the chatter, slurps and breaches of office etiquette. With summer ending, relish the quiet before the storm. And to everyone I work with, I appreciate all of your labours.

Happy Labour Day.

Stuart Foxman is a Toronto-based freelance writer, who helps clients’ products, services, ideas and organizations to come alive. Follow me on Twitter @StuartFoxmanconnect with me here on LinkedIn, or check me out at I would love to hear from you. More articles like this coming, with original posts every week about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc.

August 28, 2019

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