Eight in ten have directly experienced rudeness in the workplace, with 54% of employees citing being sworn at as the rudest form of behaviour, according to new research from Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS).

Being reprimanded in front of your peers (48%), talking over counterparts in a meeting (44%) and personal remarks about outfit choices (42%) were also cited as other forms of insolent behaviour. But this research didn’t solely focus on rudeness aimed to towards the employees themselves.

The research found that 72% of employees would take action if they had a colleague with hygiene problems.

Thirty-six per cent of respondents would willingly confront colleagues directly about their personal hygiene, while another 36% would be inclined to raise the issue with HR and management to tackle on their behalf.

And it seems that men (78%) were far more likely than women (68%) to voice concerns to or about the colleague in question.

Ricky Martin, Apprentice winner and the Founder and Managing Director of HRS, said that work-related disputes and personality clashes are no new problem.

“What the results show is how direct people are when handling often sensitive issues.”

“I’d always advise that taking an open and honest approach with colleagues will work better in the long-term, but it’s important colleagues are mindful not to unintentionally offend or create further issues in doing so,” he said.

Employees opting for the ‘straight-talking’ approach when confronting employees may transcend into altercations with colleagues which is no good for any workplace culture.

Furthermore, the research revealed that 35% would directly tell colleagues that they don’t like them. This result also found a difference between the genders, with 43% of men admitting that they would confront colleagues directly, as opposed to just 24% of women who would do the same.

The study shed light on what causes workplace rudeness to occur. A whopping 81% of employees cited small talk with colleagues as annoying – particularly if the conversation involved children or football.

However, it seems that these aren’t the only bug-bearers. Thirty-six per cent revealed trash-talking colleagues or clients as the most irritating form of small talk, forced pleasantries (29%), evening or weekend-related small talk (23%) or conversation relating to the weather (17%).

Moreover, the research revealed that a staggering 94% of employees found physical contact at work acceptable.

Thirty-two per cent cited a fist pump as an acceptable from of contact, while 17% said a kiss on the cheek was tolerable, or a pat on the shoulder (52%) and high-fives (39%).

Martin explained: “The results are pretty surprising. We often hear and read in the media how physical contact at work isn’t acceptable, yet the results suggest otherwise.

“Of course, physical contact isn’t always appropriate or well received so I’d advise it’s essential to be aware of factors such as personality, religion and culture. As what might be regarded as friendly in one culture may be deemed as deeply offensive in another!”