Forced jollity in the office irritates workers

UK employees are becoming increasingly irritated by office “niceties” such as having to contribute for farewell presents and buying cakes on your birthday, according to new research.

A survey of 500 workers, by RPCushing Recruitment, reveals that more than 50% of respondents are irritated by office collections for farewell presents or being asked to sponsor charity events, and they often resent office sweepstakes.

Social office outings are not always the fun trips they are intended to be, with more than 30% of office workers finding such forced outings a pain.

Leaving parties are a particular grievance:  40% of office workers resent the idea of the leaver being expected to buy drinks for colleagues.

Frustration with such enforced “generosity” also extends to birthdays, where the expectation that you buy cakes for everyone on your birthday, which is specific to the UK, irritates 25% of workers.

Dress-down days, commonly instigated to introduce a sense of informality in the workplace, also irritate many workers, with 16% expressing a frustration and  25% admitting that they feel pressure to look their best on  ‘mufti’ days.

Paul Cushing, managing director of RPCushing, said: “Many informal interpersonal interactions, workplace incentives and team bonding exercises are resented by office workers.

“There are definite benefits to employers in encouraging the development of a participative culture based on teamwork. However, there should be broad consensus among the employees about what form these activities should take.”

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