Revealed: The scariest workplace tasks, according to office workers

With Halloween spooking office workers across the country, new research reveals the scariest office tasks that employees have to do.

More than half of UK office workers (53 per cent) admit giving negative feedback to colleagues is the scariest task for them in the workplace – according to new research.

The study, conducted by Powwownow, finds making a phone call in front of colleagues comes in as a close second (36 per cent), with one in five admitting to completely ignoring this task in the hope that it will go away.

The survey also discovers half of office workers get anxious about going in to work the night before they have to give negative feedback to a colleague, or make a phone call in front of peers.

When it comes to asking for a promotion or pay raise, half of UK workers (52 per cent) say this made them very anxious.

Furthermore, two thirds (67 per cent) says they were afraid to call in sick, with concerns that their managers wouldn’t believe them as the main reason why.

The majority of respondents (87 per cent) claimed they were more likely to address tasks that scare them either in person or over the phone, rather than hiding behind emails.

When asked what would help them overcome their workplace fears, two thirds (66 per cent) of UK workers say regular communication with managers, along with clear policies around issues such as sick leave, would alleviate much of the anxiety associated with work.

Jason Downes, managing director of conference call company Powwownow, says, ‘While it’s great to see that picking up the phone and opening the channels of communication helps people conquer the most common workplace fears, more needs to be done to help alleviate anxiety in the UK workplace.

‘Today’s professionals rightly consider wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance as top priorities, and businesses need to start providing environments that support these. Giving regular updates on company policies around sick leave and flexible working will create environments that positively combat workplace fears.’

Top five scariest workplace tasks:

Giving negative feedback to a colleague
Making a phone call in front of colleagues
Presenting to colleagues
Explaining you’ve missed a target to a manager
Having to say no to a client or customer

Further reading on scariest workplace tasks

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Employee skills

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