The Most Bizarre Workplace Rules Revealed

Workplace rules

Workplaces are filled with rules that dictate an employee’s work life; including when to leave, when to arrive, what to wear, where to park and much more. They are often in place to make working easier and safer as well as to ensure that a professional appearance is always portrayed for the company itself.

But every workplace will have strange rules that irritate or confuse employees. These may be just small annoyances that don’t have too much of an actual effect, such as always having to turn off their computer when they leave.

For other people however, there are rules in place at their work that can often make life hard, which can often lead to a lot of resentment. New research from CV-Library saw 1,000 UK workers asked about rules that were found to be either ‘silly’ or ‘unnecessary’.

Workplaces Have Strange Rules

CV-Library found that the most ridiculous rules that were report often fell into the five following categories:

  • Toilet Troubles
  • Dress Code Dilemmas
  • Silent Treatment
  • Time Keeping
  • Beverage Blunders

Included in these were workplace rules including employees being given a time frame to go to the toilet (only 3 minutes!), being forced for wear certain coloured clothes to match the business to being told they were not allowed to talk except in the staff room. As discussed in an article recently on OPInfo Blog, dress codes in particular can be a contentious issue in the workplace so being told to wear specific coloured clothes could be a particular annoyance!

Other silly workplace rules included not allowing staff to drink water and even telling employees they were not allowed to go further than 20 metres away from the building during lunch.

As well as the rules themselves, the survey also helped to reveal which cities were most likely to have these strange rules in place, with Glasgow leading the way with 71.4%. Following behind this is Cardiff (57.1%), Sheffield (46.2%), Birmingham (38.2%) and finally London trailing behind with (37.1%).

Rules Should Be Re-Thought

While many workplaces will no doubt have good intentions behind the rules they make, they should consider whether or not these rules are actually useful or if they will even be followed. An interesting fact was that although we may follow the vast majority of rules at work with minimal complaint, over half of those surveyed (57.2%) would disobey a rule deemed as ‘silly’.

A worry may be that strict rules such as timing toilet breaks and dictating what employees can drink could result in mistrust and resentment from employees. Rules like this can often feel stifling to workers, which can in turn lead to the increase likelihood that they will be ignored.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library commented: ” 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. 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!”

For any employers who consider implementing workplace rules such as this, perhaps consider consulting a pool of employees to establish what their thoughts and feelings are on the rule. They could help to avoid any silly rules like the above and could also provide useful advice for rules that employees will both adhere to and appreciate.

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Sarah Jubb

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