Red tape and long hours can grind down the best of employees, but it is colleagues who irritate workers the most, according to a new poll.
The survey of more than 2,200 workers by recruitment firm Monster found that, in an age of open plan offices, big teams and high pressure environments, working closely and intensely with people inevitably put even the strongest relationships under strain.
Nearly a third of workers Ė 30 per cent Ė said their colleagues were what irritated them most about work.
A quarter were most riled by the long hours of the modern workplace, with a similar number seeing red over red tape.
The physical environment at work was the next most annoying aspect of work for workers in the poll.
But one in 10 somehow seemed to rise above it and glide serenely through corporate life, saying they were not irritated by anything at all.
"Feeling irritated or angry with colleagues is one of the most common symptoms of stress," said Alan Towsend, Monster UK & Ireland chief operating officer.
"Better communication between management and staff is the key to improving work-life balance," he added.
"If people feel that they're in control of their work, this can have both a dramatic and positive effect on their happiness and relationships with colleagues," he concluded.