When it comes to annoyances at work, office politics and loud cell phone usage lead the way.\n\n\n\nRunners-up are the times that work starts or stops, office settings and too few or unclear memos.\n\n\n\nIn a survey over a base of about 2,000 senior executives and\n\nmanagers nationwide, the majority ranked office politics, loud cell\n\nphone usage, being put on hold and excessive e-mail as the top\n\nannoyances to them while conducting business, whether in the office or\n\non the road.\n\nOther top annoyances ranked were clarity and amount of\n\ncommunication, interruptions, lack of or changes in direction and the\n\nnumber or length of meetings.\n\n\u201cIt seems to me that people are more and more busy with their\n\ncareers instead of with the company,\u201d said one survey respondent. \u201cSo\n\nthere is less cooperation, less \u2019real\u2019 communication between people and\n\nthen a poorer output to the market.\u201d\n\nSaid another: \u201cThe biggest annoyance is complete lack of\n\ncommunication from above as to corporate goals, objectives and\n\nsignificant events. In fact, there is virtually no communication on any\n\nsubject. Weeks pass without a single word, written or verbal, even in\n\nresponse to communication from me. It\u2019s no wonder corporate strategy\n\nseems adrift.\u201d\n\nFrom the perspective of some, faulty communication can be the\n\nfault of the recipient. \u201cMy main annoyance is working with people who\n\nlack listening skills,\u201d said one respondent. \n\n\n\nIn addition to communication issues, annoyances at work vary widely, from decision making to issues of leadership.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\u201cThe one thing that annoys me the most is the inability of managers to\n\nhave the courage to make decisions on their own without worrying about\n\ncovering themselves in the event it does not work out,\u201d said one senior\n\nexecutive. \u201cThis leads to excessive meetings, memos, etc. If you make a\n\nmistake, admit you are wrong and try to correct the problem!\u201d\n\nSaid another executive who responded to the survey: \u201cI\u2019m a\n\ncorporate officer working for a micro-managing CEO who is also\n\npassive-aggressive. Of all my beefs, having this kind of boss is the\n\nbiggest. My job and productivity would be so much better with a\n\nstronger leader. My past CEO (different company) was a star and\n\nconsummate leader. I never really appreciated how significant\n\nleadership could be until being poorly led. I have now become much more\n\nreflective on my own leadership skills and style. However, I guess no\n\none is so poor that they can\u2019t be used as a bad example.\u201d\n\n\n\n\n\nBut to the majority, it is still office politics that ranks as the top annoyance.\n\n\n\n\u201cThe greatest annoyance is the quest for power most senior\n\npeople (including this one) exhibit throughout their careers,\u201d said one\n\nmanager. \u201cIt is a failure of modern American management to teach what\n\nis a mystery to most and a blessing to a few, which is giving people\n\ntheir place and seeking interdependence above independence.\u201d\n\n\u201cSome annoyances are part of a normal working environment, but\n\nunfortunately, the most damaging items are also the most challenging to\n\ncontrol,\u201d said another respondent. Office politics are a great example.\n\nPolitically charged offices spend far too much time trying to build\n\nempires and enhance status vs. driving shareholder value.\u201d\n\nWith so many trying to get so much done at work these days, it can be\n\nthe annoyances that drive people over the top.\n\nManagers should identify what annoys them most, and focus on\n\neither eliminating it, minimizing it or at least consciously deciding\n\nto live with it, thereby lowering its rank on their annoyance list so\n\nthey can get on with business.