‘Small things’ can easily become ‘big things’ at work. What starts as ‘a little bit irritating’ can sometimes end up in a heated argument or even worse. Here are ten common causes of conflict at work. How many have you experienced?

1. Windows and heating

We all need fresh air, but some like it more than others. And God help us if there’s a draught caused by another open window on the other side of the office! There are some people who are always cold; others always start to pour with sweat when the temperature reaches 15 degrees.

2. Non-stop talking

It’s difficult to work if the person next to you keeps telling you stories about what they did the evening before, or about the problems of their friend’s kids. Or even worse: they give you a commentary of everything as they’re doing it. “OK, now I click ‘save’, then ‘print’. Why isn’t it printing? Oh, now it is…”

3. Working hours

There’s always one person who seems to arrive later than you and then leave before you every day. Then they complain to you about how much overtime they’re doing!

4. Breaks

Another cigarette? He might as well move his desk outside to the smoking area! Non-smokers can be just as bad, spending lots of time in the kitchen making coffee and catching up on all the office gossip with colleagues.

5. Speaking on the telephone

We’ve all had at least one colleague who can be heard from the other side of the office when they’re on the phone. It’s even worse when two loud colleagues are on the phone at the same time, resulting in a kind of telephone ‘battle’, each having to speak louder than the other.

6. Salary

You can work very happily in your job for many years until you hear that your inexperienced colleague who joined the company a few months ago actually earns twice as much as you. After that, you’ll feel angry whenever they ask you for help.

7. Holidays

You’d really like to go on holiday with your family this summer, but a couple of your colleagues have practically booked all summer off. And they’re not prepared to swap with you because they booked it months ago…

8. Doctor’s appointments

You always try to organise your doctor’s appointments for before or after your working day. But your colleague can only get an appointment late in the morning or early in the afternoon, meaning they have a three-hour gap in their working day. And this seems to happen every other week.

9. Untidiness

Your desk is hardly spotless, but your colleague’s desk looks like there was a hurricane in the office. You can’t even see the surface because it’s covered in paper, Post-It notes and used coffee mugs.

10. Internet

Whenever you walk past your colleague’s desk, they seem to be on Twitter or Facebook, shopping on Amazon or watching cat videos on YouTube. Of course, it’s all for ‘business purposes’!

Which of these do you find most annoying? Can you think of any more?