Are Your Co-Workers Driving You to Quit?

It's not just your boss who can drive you nuts. A host of factors can make co-workers unbearable.

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By Nina Zipkin

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Since we spend most of our time at work, it makes sense that we develop friendships with our colleagues. While these relationships might make you look forward to going into the office every day, friends still have disagreements. And in the close quarters of a tight-knit office, interpersonal drama can have a big impact -- and even send people out the door.

A new study from career site Comparably polled more than 36,000 employees at small, mid-size, and large public and private tech companies about their work relationships. The researchers found a striking statistic that one in three of the employees polled said that a co-worker made them want to quit their job.

Related: 9 Things That Make Good People Quit

Forty-three percent of women and 32 percent of men said that they wanted to leave because of a colleague. Workers ages 36 to 40 reported being much more frustrated with their co-workers than their older and younger peers, with 40 percent reporting that they work with a colleague that makes them want to to quit.

Also, the more experience you have, the more likely it is that you're going to want to quit. According to the data, employees that worked for more than 10 years at the same company had the highest rates of wanting to leave. Additionally, 37 percent reported that they work with someone that made them want to quit.

Related: 10 Outrageous Ways People Have Quit Their Jobs

The departments that had the least amount of instances of people wanting to quit because of a co-worker were communications (14 percent), customer service (27 percent) and human resources (27 percent). On the flip side, employees working in business development and design departments had the highest rates of wanting to quit because of a colleague -- 46 percent and 45 percent respectively. That goes to show that differences in vision -- whether it's something creative or more about the bottom line -- can lead to major conflict.

Workers' educational backgrounds also played a role. Chiefly, the more time you spent in school, the more irritated you're likely to be with your co-workers. Employees that have earned a doctoral degree were the most likely to say that a colleague annoyed them enough to want to quit -- 47 percent to be exact. Meanwhile, only 26 percent of workers with a high school degree said they worked with someone that made them want to quit.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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