7 Workplace Rules That Annoy Employees

workplace rules

An increasing number of workers have to face the harsh reality of working under ridiculous and stupid workplace rules.

Such rules are not only irrelevant but also alienate the worker from the employer.

Funnily enough, some companies continue to implement such rules despite numerous studies done, and ever increasing complaints from workers.

In some cases, some workers end up leaving their jobs altogether due to such ridiculous, and pedantic rules.

7 Rules That Annoy Employees

1 – Dresscode

To start with, rules that define the dress code are one of the most unpopular among the employees.

It is true that every reputable organization needs to observe basic rules on how to dress. However, outright supervision on the dress code of employees does not go well with many employees.

What people wear every morning depends on various factors such as weather, specific business functions, needs, and preferences.

For example, health needs may prompt someone to do slight deviation from the manager’s preferences as far as the dress code is concerned.

Trine University came under fire recently for..

The infamous “gag rule” they tried to impose, even upon students, to punish anyone caught speaking negatively about the university, even off campus, the disastrous dress code where “cross-gender” dressing (such as a man wearing an earring) was explicitly disallowed.

2 – Attendance Policies

Secondly, attendance policies on regular and salaried people may be perceived as lack of faith on the part of the management on its employees.

Sometimes, circumstances force people to report to work a few minutes late. For example, heavy rain may interrupt the transport schedule of an employee.

Employees feel more at home in a company that gives some flexibility to its members of staff in their line of duty.

What can be particularly annoying is when double standards are encountered, i.e its OK for the boss to swagger in at 10am, yet not OK for the troops.

Example Adecco/CDTI

..But thanks to the Time-card Nazi policy of CTDI, workers are forced to rush, rush, rush; and they’re also forced to make CTDI the most important thing in the world – nothing else matters except going by CTDI’s iron fist policies and rules. CTDI is your life now (even through CTDI obviously doesn’t give a sh@t about it’s workers and doesn’t do it’s workers any favors – CTDI just slaps their workers around only)

3 – Bell Curve Performance Reviews

Bell curve performance reviews are just another bureaucratic procedure that is carried out by a disturbing amount of short sighted companies.

There is a good reason why one is entrusted with certain responsibilities in the first place.

It shows that one has gone through the relevant training and experience.

Similarly, employees feel more comfortable if the management believes that the team is going to perform without necessarily imposing targets and goals on its employees.

4 – Micro Management

Employees are particularly concerned about managers who require approval on everything that goes on at work.

There are some office events that will obviously need the approval of the manager.

These include the following:

  • Hiring a new employee
  • Sacking an employee
  • Onset of a major project
  • Using large amounts of money

However, it is very annoying for a manager to require approval for a number of office events.

These include the following:

  • Replacing the office badge
  • Using the petty cash
  • Taking an hour off to see a doctor

It should be noted that the more the need for such approvals, the slower the work, and consequently the lower the firm’s productivity.

5 – Disciplinary Rules

Annoying disciplinary rules are something that many employees will scoff at.

Rules that put workers on probation are ridiculous if not outright inconsequential.

Psychology studies reveal that coercion may not necessary lead to behavior change. In fact, it can worsen the situation and create an antagonistic atmosphere between the management with its employees.

An employee of Vittoria Management had this to say..

An abusive, dysfunctional environment where owner attempts to rule by humiliation and intimidation.

Working in a place like that would be detrimental to an employee’s health, career and well being.

6 – Forced Ranking

Forced ranking among the employees is not desirable.

This refers to a situation where managers compare the employees with each other. To make an analogy, a parent who compares his kids among each other sows seeds of discord among the children.

Similarly, employees have different backgrounds and orientation. It would be unfair to compare them and expect the employees to perform at the same level.

In any case, diversity should be taken as a great asset among the employees and companies should not hesitate to exploit the immense benefits that come with differences in skills and performance.

7 – Feedback Loop

Lastly, the feedback mechanism, if wrongly handled is an annoying office platform.

The fact is that the feedback mechanisms such as the suggestion box do not carry much meaning after-all.

Rather like a married couple, one will not ask the spouse about the family’s strengths and weaknesses via a suggestion box.

There are more effective methods of doing the same thing, a direct face to face conversation for instance.


US workers continue to become more conscious and aware of the annoying office rules, and expectations, that do not make sense.

It is important to continually evaluate the relevance of such rules and consequently seek redress and sensible alternatives.

It is unfortunate that in today’s modern world, and even with the advancement of labor rights, such rules still exist.

There is surely the need to make the workplace more friendly.

Overall, such rules make the workplace inhospitable and contribute to office tension.

Do you have any unnecessary or ridiculous rules in your workplace?

Image credit


Rob StGeorge

Co Founder of RateMyCompanyUSA.com

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