24 October 2019 | Prithvi Pandya
Office supplies company Viking Direct has conducted a study to unearth UK employees' online searches about their colleagues and bosses.
One of the top searched-for boss-related terms was "can my boss watch me on CCTV from home?" with 170 searches a month. This was followed by two results at opposite ends of the spectrum: "how to kill your boss" and "does my boss fancy me?" - both with 140 searches a month.
More serious searches included "can I sue my boss for emotional distress?" and several questions about what constitutes a sackable offence, indicating that office workers are also turning to Google for more practical reasons.
Less serious searches included "do I have to invite my boss to my wedding?", which 10 people searched for each month.
Viking took a deeper look into the most common topics being searched for and found that the greatest volume of searches contain the term 'bully', closely followed by 'pregnant' and 'leaving' searches.
Office politics also dominate the results; with "how to resolve conflict with a colleague" and "how to work with a colleague who undermines you" both racking up 50 searches a month. Although 30 people each month seem to have given up on this completely by asking, "can I refuse to work with a colleague?"
Not as many employees searched about their actual job or workplace as they did about bosses or colleagues, and the queries were much more varied, covering everything from "can debt collectors call my work?" to "what to wear to my work Christmas party".
It also didn't paint the UK as particularly honest, with 90 of workers asking "can I lie about my work experience?" while 30 people a month wanted to know "how to unblock Facebook on my work computer" for some relief from their 9-to-5 routine.
The full results of the research can be read here.