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Does your company have any silly or unnecessary rules in place? While management will probably say no – after all, all rules are implemented for a reason – employees may feel differently. In a recent workplace study, 36.8% of respondents said their workplace has “ridiculous” rules.
The survey by UK job site CV-Library asked 1,000 UK workers whether their employer had any silly or unnecessary rules in place. If the fact that over a third of employees think their company has stupid rules doesn’t motivate you to review your policies, perhaps this will: 22.5% said that workplaces with ridiculous rules can’t be trusted.
When it comes to the ridiculous rules in question, according to the survey results they broadly fall into five categories:
- Bathroom breaks: Respondents reported they either had a strict time frame in which to go to the toilet (3 minutes), had to ask before using the toilet facilities, or were even searched before going to the toilet.
- Dress code: Some respondents reported they had to wear particular coloured clothes to match the business, and women weren’t allowed to wear trousers. One individual even said that they were sent home for not dressing down.
- Talking: Some employees stated that they weren’t allowed to talk out loud outside of the staff room, while others said that they weren’t allowed to say “hello” to a customer, only “good morning”, or “good afternoon”.
- Time keeping: One company deducts 15 minutes worth of pay if an employee is 2 minutes late. Another won’t allow staff to travel further than 20 metres away from the building during lunch in case they’re back late.
- Drinks: Some workplaces won’t allow their staff to drink water and another will not let workers carry drinks up and down the stairs. One company won’t let employees have drinks on their desk in case they get spilt.
Commenting on the results, Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “Every workplace needs rules: otherwise you’d simply never get things done! That said it’s clear that many of the rules highlighted in our research are just ridiculous.”
He added: “Employees want to feel trusted and while one workplace can differ massively to another, you have to treat your staff like adults – especially when it comes to being allowed to drink water and going to the toilet!”
A final finding from the survey provides another reason for ensuring any office rule makes sense to staff. Over half of respondents (57.2%) said that if they feel a rule is silly, they’ll simply disobey it.