The most Googled workplace queries

The UK’s employees have been busy Googling all sorts of workplace queries. Here’s what’s most on their minds…

Viking has conducted research across a number of professional concerns. This includes questions about bosses, in addition to items related to ‘managers, colleagues and workplaces.’

Workplace queries: about your boss

It appears that employees are largely Googling topics that they may need to discuss with their boss, as the top three search results include:

  1. Bullying
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Leaving the company

There are also some concerning results, with regular searches for:

  • ‘Can my boss watch me on CCTV from home? (170 searches each month)
  • ‘How to kill your boss’ (one can only hope this is in jest, with 140 searches each month)
  • And ‘does my boss fancy me?’ (also 140 searches per month)

‘Do I have to invite my boss to my wedding?’ conversely only receives 10 searches a month.

Reassuringly, 76% of Google searches regarding bosses are actually deemed ‘positive’ in nature.

Workplace queries: about your colleagues

As for the nation’s queries about their colleagues, the top findings include:

  1. ‘How to resolve conflict with a colleague?’ (50 searches a month)
  2. ‘How to work with a colleague who undermines you?’ (also 50 searches a month)
  3. And ‘can I refuse to work with a colleague?’ (30 monthly searches)

Here are the top keywords used in relation to colleagues:

  1. Like
  2. Complaint
  3. Crush
  4. Fancy
  5. Complain
  6. Hate
  7. Conflict
  8. Attract

Unsurprisingly, many of these words have a strong interpersonal connotation – whether good or bad!

On the subject of good versus bad, only 59% of Google searches about colleagues are considered positive. This number falls to 45% when it comes to searches about an employee’s ‘work or workplace’.

A reminder to all:

Just as you should be wary of the perils of using Doctor Google for your medical queries, be selective about the workplace advice you find and follow!

ACAS provides a free and confidential phone service for ‘any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace.’ You could also seek out the advice of a trusted HR and/or recruitment partner.

Want to work with a team that you feel more suited to? Visit our jobs page for the latest opportunities in the Bath and Wiltshire regions. 



GDPR: are you unknowingly breaching the law?

What does GDPR mean to you? Perhaps you thought your role in it all ended when you received your last ‘we don’t want to see you go, please stay on our mailing list’ request last summer. Well, you could be unknowingly (and regularly!) breaching this legislation in and out of work…

How employees risk breaching GDPR legislation…

What’s the issue here?

GDPR requires personal data to be secure at all times. Personal data refers to all ‘information about a particular living individual. It doesn’t even need to appear especially private in nature; if someone accessing the data could identify its subject then you are most definitely dealing with personal data.

For this reason, it’s suggested that pseudonyms and encryption, and other such measures, are used to secure all personal data.

Transferring data to phones and laptops, which can easily be lost or stolen, and email accounts and apps, which could be hacked or accessed by third parties, increases your risk of a data breach.

It’s not just employees overlooking GDPR. The Independent reports that many small businesses remain ‘clueless’ about the legislation.

Could you be dismissed for breaching GDPR?

Serious breaches could indeed lead to dismissal; your employer’s disciplinary procedures may state this.

GDPR requires more serious breaches to be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’). The ICO has a helpline which will guide you through the necessary measures to ensure the data breach is contained.

This isn’t to say that every breach must be reported to the ICO. Rather, it’s those that are higher risk.

What to do next…

  • Stop using personal accounts and tools to deal with work communications and/or data! If your employer is actually asking you to use these, direct them to the above links to ensure they are aware of the data breach risks.
  • Consult your employer’s GDPR guidelines and training materials.
  • Speak to your HR team or a manager if you have any additional concerns.
  • Visit the ACAS and ICO websites for legal information regarding GDPR.
  • Any employers would be wise to provide adequate training to all team members. Both to ensure you’re being responsible and to support your ‘learning culture’.