Halloween horrors: what are the most common workplace nightmares?

Hazel Ramsell · 25 Oct

With the spookiest time of year fast approaching, we thought about what scares us the most. Is it spiders? Ghosts? The dark? But, how about, scary bosses or nightmare colleagues?

Between the fear of sending important emails, only to notice a mistake, or the horrifying sights of the office kitchen – it only seems right to find out what gives Brits the creepy crawlies at work. Perkbox surveyed 1,000 employed adults to find out.

Over half of Brits have had a nightmare about their boss

50% of employees have had a nightmare about their boss

Tucked up asleep, you should be having sweet dreams and recharging after a long day at work. Then BOO! Your boss appears  enough to break a sweat, right? But it turns out that this nightmare has been experienced by the majority of working adults.
Over half of working Brits have had a nightmare about their boss at least once in their life, while 46% admit that this has occurred several times.

Toxic workplace cultures and bullying bosses are the top workplace fears

what workplace horror do you fear the most

When asked what workplace horrors UK workers fear the most, having a ‘bullying boss’ came out on top, chosen by 28% of respondents.

This was closely followed by having a toxic workplace culture (21%), team conflicts and surprise overtime hours (both chosen by 10% of employees).

You may think that new communication channels entering the workplace could lead to some scary incidents, but it seems that Brits are able to handle these in their stride. ‘Communication overload’ came at the bottom of the pile for workplace fears, chosen by just 3% of employees.

Trick or Treat – what haunts us at work?

top mistakes that haunt you at work

We have all made an error in work that haunts us to this day and it seems that most of us are haunted by a rather traditional error. Calling a colleague by the wrong name was ranked in first place, with 19% stating that they still shudder at the thought of that mistake. This was followed by several other common workplace hauntings...

Top 5 workplace hauntings:

  1. Calling a colleague by the wrong name – 19%
  2. Making an embarrassing typo on an important document – 18%
  3. Sending a confidential email to the wrong contact – 13%
  4. Criticising a colleague and they overhear – 13%
  5. Getting too drunk at work social events – 10% 

And for the treats?

top favourite office treats

The workplace treats that we enjoy the most include finishing early, chosen by 40% of employees, followed by a company bonus scheme (27%), perks in the office such as table tennis, free snacks and coffee (18%) and free beers on Fridays (6%).

Knock, Knock – It’s your nightmare colleague

top nightmare colleagues

You’re going into work, not a Halloween haunted house. But sometimes, your colleagues can leave the office in some terrifying states that make you question otherwise.

When asked what a nightmare colleague would have to do to annoy them the most, respondents ranked ‘having bad manners such as chewing food loudly, and not cleaning up dishes and mugs after themselves’ in first position.

Taking credit for others’ work ranked in second place, followed by playing music extremely loudly and being an office slacker pretending to work.

What’s your idea of a workplace nightmare?

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