• International Workplace
  • 29 October 2019

Staff turn to Google for their HR concerns

While employees would be expected to turn to the HR department if they have any queries or concerns, it seems many are in fact choosing to use Google to answer their questions, as a quick and less embarrassing method.

That’s according to new research carried out by Viking Direct, which looked at the most searched terms around managers, colleagues and workplaces. It found that bullying, pregnancy and quitting their jobs are the most common topics UK workers search for when Googling questions about their boss but, far from the usual HR issues that arise, employees were also found to ask “can my boss watch me on CCTV from home” and “how to kill your boss”.

On a slightly less serious note, employees searched for “does my boss fancy me” and “do I have to invite my boss to my wedding”.

The top keywords people searched for about their bosses were:

  1. Bully
  2. Pregnant
  3. Leaving
  4. Raise
  5. Fire
  6. Hate
  7. Romantically
  8. Complain
  9. Affair
  10. Crush
  11. Fancy
  12. Maternity
  13. Notice
  14. Sex

Surprisingly, UK workers were less positive overall about their colleagues than bosses.

These were the most common terms employees Googled about colleagues:

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

Bob Huibers, Marketing Executive at Viking Direct said of the research:

“It’s really interesting to see the wide range of questions that office workers are turning to search engines to find the answers to. While office gossip used to be restricted to the water cooler, it seems we’re eager to ask Google about burgeoning workplace romances.

“From a more serious perspective, there were some more significant and extremely important topics being Googled, showing that UK employees have a greater appetite than ever for improving their HR and employment law knowledge and are likely to avoid the traditional route of speaking to a manager or HR department. With all the resources now available to us online, this can only be seen as a positive, empowering shift.”