Procurement · 17 April 2018

UK employers reveal their top 10 unbearable staff habits

The survey of 200 employers investigated the habits of UK professionals that drive their bosses crazy

Being the boss can be a tough job, so it’s no surprise that two thirds of employers find their workforce annoying sometimes. New survey findings have revealed exactly which staff habits get under their skin the most.

According to research from UK job board CV-Library the number one bother for over half of UK employers was their workforce turning up to work late.

The survey of 200 employers investigated the habits of UK professionals that drive their bosses mad. Respondents were asked to reveal the behaviour that they find most frustrating from their employees.

Commenting on the findings, founder of CV-Library, Lee Biggins, said: “As the boss, you have to manage your own workload, whilst also organising your team. It’s understandable then that you can become frustrated with them at times, especially when they aren’t sticking to the rules.

“However, it’s important that you build positive relationships in the workplace, especially with your staff. This means that open communication is key.”

Top 10 unbearable staff habits

  1. Showing up to work late – 54.2 per cent
  2. Complaining to colleagues instead of discussing problems with their boss – 41.2 per cent.
  3. Not taking responsibility for their mistakes – 39.9 per cent
  4. Messing around during work hours – 32.7 per cent
  5. Spreading gossip – 29.4 per cent
  6. Not being a team player – 28.8 per cent
  7. Communicating only over email – 21.6 per cent
  8. Making ridiculous demands – 14.4 per cent
  9. Not being grateful for the rewards they receive – 6.5 per cent
  10. Sucking-up to the boss – 2 per cent

Biggins added: “If you feel that your employees are breaking the rules or not being as productive as they should be, it might be time to have a chat with them to explain the behaviour you expect at work.

“After all, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Plus, it’s essential to build trust amongst workers and if there’s underlying tension because of communication problems, this can be difficult.”

We took at look back at previous CV-Library studies to find out the kind of behaviour causing controversy in UK workplaces.

Eight email mistakes your colleagues find unbearable

With email overtaking face-to-face interaction as the primary method of communication between colleagues, here are the eight email mistakes office colleagues find most irritating.

  1. Sending inappropriate content – 90.7 per cent
  2. Sending kisses – 64.6 per cent
  3. Not addressing people by their name – 43.8 per cent
  4. Not signing off emails correctly – 38.7 per cent
  5. Blind copying people in emails – 29.1 per cent
  6. Copying in a manager to get a response – 16.6 per cent
  7. Sending read receipts – 11.5 per cent
  8. Flagging the email as highly important – 10 per cent

“It’s always important to remember that the workplace is a professional environment,” warned Biggins. “While interaction through technology is increasingly becoming more and more instant, the traditional rules still apply.”

Five office conversations to avoid at all costs

UK professionals have also decided which office conversations you should not discuss at your desk. Researchers asked over half of 1,100 professionals what topics were off-limits in the office.

  1. Salaries – 67.5 per cent
  2. Office relationships – 65.5 per cent
  3. Relationships outside of work – 57 per cent
  4. Why someone was let go – 52.9 per cent
  5. The boss – 47.3 per cent

Biggins concluded: “As an employer, this can be a tricky situation to navigate. While you want to nurture a friendly working environment and encourage staff to get along, you need to make sure you set a good example and lay down some ground rules.”



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Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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