This is Why Your Boss Hates You – And How to Stop Being So Annoying

This is Why Your Boss Hates You – And How to Stop Being So Annoying

Read Time: 4 Minutes


10 Dec 2019

Ever wondered what your boss really thinks about you? Or have you even had the sneaky suspicion they probably hate you? In our recent survey of 1000 UK bosses, we asked what they hate about their employees so you don’t have to find out the hard way. 

With a hefty 42% of bosses admitting to having a favourite employee, we also wanted to know the secret to holding this highly coveted position! 

It’s not all doom and gloom! As well as revealing a surprising list of definite do-not-dos, we asked the instantprint managers for their top tips for impressing the boss. 

Read on to discover exactly why your boss hates you, some of the worst things the most hated employees have ever done and how to make sure you hold the top spot in your boss’s heart.


What Are You Doing that Annoys Your Boss?


graph showing what annoys bosses most about their employees


Diving right in to the deep end of our study, we asked bosses what annoys them the most about their employees. Overwhelmingly topping the bill at 35% was having a negative attitude at work, with a lack of passion for their job (16%) and refusal to work as part of a team (15%).

Bosses don’t actually mind if you dress inappropriately – although we’re pretty sure your HR team would – with just 1% stating this as the worst bad habit in the office. Luckily for the cheesy office jokester (we’re looking at you!), at just 2% of the vote, telling unfunny jokes won’t land you in the bad books.

When it comes to politeness, an employee’s lack of manners faired middle of the ground placing 6th out of 10 as an annoying habit.  Our recent research into changing social habits in the UK revealed that nearly nine in ten Brits believe that good manners are dying out, with 77% not sending cards and invites. Is the importance of good manners dying out in your workplace? Or are we becoming more polite so that this just isn’t an issue anymore? Tweet us @instantprintuk. 


bosses reveal their top annoying habits about employees


Fated to Be Hated? Boss’s Least Favourite Employee Names Revealed!

Do you have a name only a mother could love? Our survey revealed the top 20 names of boss’ least favourite employees. Can you spot yours on the list?

1. Bob 11. Fred
2. John 12. Richard
3. Dave 13. Will
4. Steve 14. Mike
5. David 15. Sam
6. Paul 16. Kate
7. Ben 17. Alan
8. Sarah 18. Chris
9. Jim 19. Simon
10. Mark 20. Margaret


The Not-to-Do List

(Unfortunately) all of the following examples were actual responses to our survey. Whatever you do, do not commit these office faux pas.

infographic showing the worst things employees have ever done at work

How Can You Turn It Around?

Okay, so we’re all a little guilty of falling into bad habits – maybe not quite as bad as the ones in our not-to-do list, but still pretty bad. If you do fall into disfavour with the boss, what’s the best way to redeem yourself? 

With just 55% of bosses willing to confront employees about their annoying behaviour, it’s unlikely that they’ll admit to your face that you’re bugging them. That means it’s down to you and you alone to change your ways or face the wrong side of favouritism.

To give you a little nudge in the right direction, our survey uncovered the top ways to impress UK bosses.

A direct opposite to the most annoying employee trait, a positive attitude tops our list with 28% of respondents agreeing that this is the way to their hearts. Along the same strain, being passionate about the business’s success also ranked highly as a favouritism factor at 20%.

Our manager respondents also appreciate when their employees complete tasks outside of their remit to benefit the company (15%) and solve work issues by themselves (9%). Effective communication also scored very highly at 15%.


Overtime and Politeness Shockingly Get You NOWHERE with Your Manager! 

Is overtime a waste of time? Contrary to popular belief, working overtime and punctuality won’t get you anywhere with your line manager, claiming just 1% of the vote each. Surprisingly, meeting deadlines is also an easy habit to look over, with just 3% of bosses stating that completing work on time is the best way to impress.

The bad manners trend continues, and it turns out being polite just doesn’t impress with only 3% of bosses claiming this as a way to gain respect. Bringing in drinks and snacks for the boss will similarly not do you any favours (2%).

Our respondents are all in agreement – your attitude to work and the quality of work you produce are far more likely to be valued by the boss than sucking up with gifts and unnecessary overtime.


Top Tips on Impressing Your Boss from instantprint’s Management Team

We asked the managers at instantprint what top tip they’d give to employees looking to impress. Here’s what they had to say.



Does a certain colleague spring to mind with these bad habits? Share this article with them now and tag us @instantprintuk or using #instantprintuk!


About the Author

Hi, I’m Ally and I’m instantprint’s PR Lead. I enjoy writing content to help small businesses succeed and inspire them to get creative with their print marketing.