Despite being halfway though February, there  no time like the present to ditch bad office habits – and researchers from CV-Library have discovered what employees find most irritating at work.

  1. 9-5 working hours (53%) 

Flexible working means working a different work pattern to the way you work now. It can be achieved in a number of ways, such as changing your hours, by working from home, part-time, flexi-time, job sharing and shift working.

Anyone can ask to work flexibly but those with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be eligible to make a statutory request. This triggers a process your employer has to follow.

You can read more about making requests here. 

  1. Long meetings (34.6%) 

We don’t think anyone likes long meetings…or meetings in general – especially if busy.  Consider the approach of Elon Musk – the Tesla founder

“Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get rid of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.”

  1. Professional dress codes (30.6%)

Do you really need a dress code? While you may sometimes want staff to look their best – for example, when you have visitors to the office – the rest of the time allowing them to choose what they wear will help them be comfortable and relaxed enough to do their best.

What is your dress code at work?

Read our further  guidance on dress codes.

  1. Having to be in the office every day (29.7%) 

We all know the Employment Rights Act 1996 struggles to catch up and reflect current working methods like the gig economy. But even practices which preceded the industrial revolution like ‘homeworker’ aren’t properly covered or defined.

All you need to know about working from home.

  1. Being made to call in when sick (instead of texting or emailing) (20%) 

Over 90% of us have gone into the office despite being sick, according to research from insurer By allowing your staff to text or email when they feel awful, rather than calling, you’re letting them know you believe them when they tell you they are sick.

Why sickness absence is at an all-time low

  1. Set lunch hours (17.8%) 

If you really do need someone covering the phones at all time, allow teams the chance to work out a rota between themselves that is fair and open to flexibility when required.

Why working through your lunch break is a bad idea.

  1. Annual performance reviews (16.8%) 

An increasing number of employers are doing away with the dreaded  annual 1:1 in favour of a more but less intrusive style of review. Accenture — one of the largest consultancies in the world has abolished annual performance reviews in favour of a system in which employees receive feedback from their managers immediately following and assignment. They say it allows employees to work on their weaknesses and receive praise immediately rather than wait up to a whole year for any feedback.

  1. Set workspaces (15.9%) 

Having just one space to work in isn’t always appropriate – sometimes your staff may need silence, and other times they need to be able to collaborate easily.

  1. Signing birthday cards for colleagues (9.5%) 

If you are handed a birthday card to sign and immediately ask “who?” then you may be 9.5% who would rather avoid the awkwardness.

  1. Tea rounds (7.7%) 

Having a tea rota can be disruptive and force employees to break up the flow of their work just because it’s their ‘turn’ to go put the kettle on.  If you can’t fit all the cups on one tray, its time to think again.

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