Revealed: lawyers’ dirtiest habits

A survey of lawyers on office etiquette revealed that eating a colleague’s food from the fridge or their desk is the worst offence one could commit in the workplace.

Out of 250 lawyers polled by careers service TheLadders.co.uk, 100 per cent deemed stealing colleague’s food unacceptable and 95 per cent objected to “bad habits such as flossing your teeth with a paperclip and picking your nose”.

Bad hygiene, smelly breath and dirty clothes came a close third, followed by bad language of which 86 per cent disapproved, eating smelly food (79 per cent disapproval rating), loud talking (78 per cent), leaving the office without telling colleagues (75 per cent) and drinking at lunchtime (73 per cent).

With the rise of the internet, certain other traditionally bad habits are nowadays apparently less frowned upon with only 61 per cent disapproving of personal instant messaging at work, only half of lawyers surveyed finding gossiping unacceptable and only a third deeming the making of personal calls unacceptable.

Of the polled lawyers, around three quarters said that they had worked alongside a person who had “offended colleagues with a complete lack of respect”.

The survey also suggested that 65 per cent of senior lawyers had warned an employee for a breach of etiquette.

Apparently of those legal managers who had fired someone, bad language came in as the main reason.