Workplace Survey Reveals Surprises About Traditional Office Life, Working from Home
More creative excuses for not showing up at the office: it’s Elvis’ birthday; gas is too expensive; dog sprayed by skunk; need to spy on my gardener; stumbled on the love of my life
India, July 5, 2012: It’s no secret that many of us find parts of office life annoying, stressful and even counter-productive. A new Wakefield Research Study commissioned by Citrix details some of our top frustrations with modern work life, including: working with a “know-it-all,” attending company events we’d rather miss and a boss that takes credit for our work. It also highlights the creative measures people are taking to avoid going in to the office and what they’re willing to sacrifice for the flexibility to work from home just one day a week.
The survey of more than 1,000 American office workers was conducted in June 2012 by Wakefield Research. It reveals the following trends and reasons that workers feel they need a break from the office and how they would conduct business from home or on vacation.
Workplace Bonding Bombs: Almost three-quarters of office workers have at least one company event they secretly dislike; 34 percent of office workers secretly dislike participating in costume contests followed by 31 percent who say they dislike team-building activities. The most disliked office event for male co-workers is office baby showers (42 percent) while female workers hate staff photos (31 percent).
Office Stressors: While some find best friends at the office, we also have to work with difficult colleagues. Almost half (49 percent) of respondents work with a “know-it-all” and 44 percent work with a “whiner.” In fact, 51 percent believe that a “constant complainer” would be the most annoying type of person to sit next to every day.
Bad Bosses: The No. 1 worst type of boss is a boss who steals our ideas (37 percent), followed by a boss that knows it all (33 percent). Twenty-seven percent of office workers dislike bosses who ignore them. Many people are getting more creative at avoiding their bosses. Thirty percent of office workers say they’ve scheduled time off around their bosses’ vacation in order to maximize the time they won’t have to spend together. This isn’t just a junior-level ploy: 39 percent of executive and manager-level workers admit to this move compared to 27 percent of mid- and junior-level workers.
Dream Bosses: Many of us daydream about working for someone we’ve watched on television. Office workers would most like to work for Gibbs from “NCIS” (20 percent), Miranda Bailey from “Grey’s Anatomy” (15 percent) and Buddy from “Cake Boss” (14 percent).
What We Say When We’re Out: “I’m sick” continues to be a common excuse but office workers are getting especially creative about finding a way to avoid going in to the office. Here are just a few excuses according to survey respondents:
- “My bicycle ran out of gas”
- “Gas is too expensive”
- “I’m dieting”
- “I drank too much Sunkist and was too tired to come in”
- “I’m having toenail issues”
- “My numerologist told me not to come in”
- “It’s Elvis’ birthday”
- “Dog sprayed by a skunk”
- “All my clothes are in the washer right now, I have nothing to wear”
- “I had to see where my gardener was really planting everything that I wanted and paid for”
- “Stumbled on the love of my life”
What’s It Worth to You? A majority of workers who have never worked remotely (64 percent) identify at least one extremely popular perk or pleasure they’d be willing to give up in order to work from home just one day a week: lunch breaks (32 percent), alcohol (25 percent) and coffee (20 percent).
Home Office Fashion: If you work from home, you may like to brag that you can do it all in your pajamas. And for most people, working from home means dressing down, but only so far. Nearly half (49 percent) of those who have worked from home say they’re most likely to wear jeans and t-shirts when on the job – on the couch. Twenty-five percent are most likely to work in their PJs while 7 percent keep it simple – real simple – working from home in their underwear or birthday suit.
Reply vs. Ignore: Say you’re finally on vacation and everything is perfect – until that urgent work email arrives. Surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of office workers (72 percent) say they would be more likely to respond immediately to the urgent work email than they would be to pretend they didn’t see it.
“These findings show what all of us who work in offices know – life at the office can often be challenging,” said Kim DeCarlis, vice president of corporate marketing at Citrix. “This survey shows that companies will benefit by being more flexible in allowing employees to work from anywhere. Enabling people to blend their professional and personal lives can boost morale as well as productivity. And there are plenty of tools and technologies today that empower people to do their jobs from any location. That’s a win-win for companies and employees alike.”
The Citrix Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,013 American office workers, ages 18 and older, between June 8 and June 14, 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population of office workers. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) transforms how businesses and IT work and people collaborate in the cloud era. With market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and more accessible for 260,000 organizations. Citrix products touch 75 percent of Internet users each day and it partners with more than 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2011 was $2.21 billion.