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Office clowns out of favour

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Workers rank reliability as the ultimate quality in a co-worker; according to new research.

The findings released by recruitment giant Manpower shows that nearly 40% of workers cite reliability at their most preferred characteristic for a colleague.

Friendly co-workers who regularly offer to make tea, coffee and share sugary treats would surprisingly only be chosen by 1% of respondents as the ideal co-worker.

Colleagues who cut the waffle and are honest and straight talking are also in favour ranking second in the poll, closely followed with 18% of the votes, by colleagues who are willing to put in extra effort to help out, for example by working through a lunch hour or staying after 5pm.

Office clowns characterised by contributing jokes, stories and pranks ranked highly with a mere 12% of voters. While just one in ten rated the agony aunt who provides the shoulder to cry on as the ideal colleague.

Charles Ashworth, director at Manpower UK said: “Good co-workers are fundamental to our happiness in our jobs. A colleague who injects laughter into the workplace is always a ‘nice to have’ but being able to rely on a colleague to deliver on promises and not slack off is clearly far more important. We depend on our colleagues to fulfil their work commitments so that we in turn can fulfil our own.

The recruitment firm surveyed 1,187 people as part of its search for Britain’s most valued employee to win its ‘Unsung Heroes’ competition. Winners will be treated to an all-inclusive seven-night holiday for two to Mexico.

Entries must be submitted by 29 October 2004. See Manpower for further details.

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Annie Hayes

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