Kick old habits to the kerb: Research reveals the stuffy office traditions Brits want to get rid of this year

Business Insight

CV-Library reveals how to give your workspace a face-lift!

Are you fed up of certain outdated traditions that still crop up in the workplace? Most of us have experienced frustration with this at some point, whether it’s tedious meetings, lengthy tea rounds or even the flexible working debate. In fact, new research from the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library, has found that nearly half (42.7%) of Brits think these stuffy office traditions need to be abandoned.

The survey of over 1,200 UK professionals sought to understand what exactly are the practices that employees want to see banished, with the top ten outdated traditions emerging as follows:

  • 9-5 working hours (53%)
  • Long meetings (34.6%)
  • Professional dress codes (30.6%)
  • Having to work in the office every day (29.7%)
  • Being made to call in when you’re sick (instead of texting or emailing) (20%)
  • Set lunch hours (17.8%)
  • Annual performance reviews (16.8%)
  • Set workspaces (15.9%)
  • Signing birthday cards for colleagues (9.5%)
  • Tea rounds (7.7%)

Significantly, the age of respondents heavily impacted how they felt about certain office traditions, with over two thirds (68.8%) of Brits aged 18-24 stating that 9-5 working hours were outdated, compared to less than half (44.6%) of those aged 55-64.

What’s more, four in ten (43.8%) Brits aged 55-64 felt that long meetings were outdated, compared to just over a quarter (28.1%) of those aged 18-24.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library comments:

“Employers need to be aware of the transition from traditional to modern workplaces. In an increasingly candidate-driven market, it’s important to be responsive to what potential employees are after, otherwise you risk losing out to the savvier competition.”

Although one in five (20.8%) candidates believe that it’s up to businesses to decide if they want to hold onto outdated traditions, the majority (70.6%) agree that businesses need to reconsider outdated traditions in the office.

If companies fail to update the way they run their workplace, 40.2% of candidates said they’d leave to join a more modern company.

Biggins continues:

“It’s no surprise that the 9-5 working day was viewed as the most outdated tradition. Flexible working in lieu of traditional working hours is a particularly hot topic right now and is something employers should consider offering if they want to stay ahead of competitors.

“However, it’s not necessary for employers to completely change the style of their workplace. More traditional companies will feel the pressure to keep up with modern demands, but sometimes finding a happy medium is the best option.”

About CV-Library

CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites and attracts over 4.3 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent online job board with a database of over 13 million CVs.