The 5 scariest workplace tasks


Over half of UK office workers admit that giving negative feedback to colleagues is the scariest task for them in the workplace, according to new research.

The study found that making a phone call in front of colleagues comes in as a close second, with one in five admitting to completely ignoring this task in the hope that it will go away.

The survey also found that over 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, over half of UK workers said this made them very anxious. Furthermore, two thirds said that 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 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 of UK workers said 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, MD of conference call company Powwownow, said, “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 5 scariest workplace tasks:

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