Be careful what you say at work: One in five employees 'hate their colleagues'
They may greet you with a smile and ask how you are.
But what your colleagues say behind your back could be far from friendly.
A fifth of workers hate their colleagues and almost two-thirds regularly gossip about them when they are out of earshot, according to a study.
Practically all the characters in BBC sitcom The Office hated David Brent, played by Ricky Gervais. .Research has found that almost six million employees despise people they work with.
The back-stabbing continues away from the office, with one in four admitting they moan about colleagues in the pub after work.
Almost six million employees despise people they work with, according to the survey.
The research also found that women are more likely to talk behind a colleague's back than men. A typical female employee will spend around 20 minutes a day moaning about someone they work with, either by email or by instant messaging online.
Two out of five women said they had sent nasty messages in the past seven days compared to one in five men.
Colleagues annoyed them because they were 'jealous' or 'saw them as a threat'.
Men who were questioned said their main gripe with a colleague was 'laziness' or someone having 'ideas above their station'.
A third of workers said they disliked colleagues so much they would not even consider socialising with them away from the office.
The researchers found that bosses are the major cause of tension in the workplace, while senior management emerged as the least-liked group of all.
The OnePoll researchers, who surveyed 2,000 people, found that media is the business where back-stabbing is most rife, followed by accounts, IT and sales. It was least common in nursing.
A spokesman for OnePoll said: 'Workers are spending longer and longer in each other's company as workloads increase.
'That leads to added tension. People who are in positions of authority are bound to end up as victims of back-stabbing.
'But workers should be careful, as one in twenty have sent an inappropriate message to the wrong person.'