Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The 25 Most Ridiculous Workplace Rules You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

By Mark Wilkinson | Oct 9, 2015 | Friday Funnies

Bill Murray saying he ain't gonna follow the rules anymore

I bet your business has one or two rules that make you roll your eyes and think – really?

It’s not your manager’s fault! The workplace rules, regulations and guidelines that come from the top are SO much stricter these days (and they’re only getting worse).

Some people are so paranoid about facing some sort of lawsuit, that they can’t help but take it all a little bit too far. Of course, then there are those who are just bloody miserable…

This week, I’ve been asking around and searching the Web, to find the most ridiculous workplace rules ever.

Reddit was an absolute goldmine of confessions and complaints!

Unnecessary Rules..?

Dr. Who saying 'What!"I’d like to think that it’s completely unnecessary to state the following rules in ANY workplace.

They seem pretty bloody self-explanatory to me… surely no one would even DREAM of committing these crimes against themselves and others?

Well, there’s no smoke without fire…

Workplace Rule 1:  If you have sex in the parking lot, please take off your vest and name tag first.”

Workplace Rule 2:  Do not steal penises from the cadavers and take them home to prank people.”

Workplace Rule 3: Do not stick your body parts in the fryers.”

Workplace Rule 4: Do not mop up the floor of the walk-in freezer.”

Workplace Rule 5: “Do not climb into the rubbish compactor.”

It worries me to know that there are people out there who actually need these rules to survive.

Even more worrying is the fact that there’s an entire Reddit feed devoted to weird and wonderful rules like these – check it out here.

Ridiculous Rewards.

businessman with naked legs outRules aren’t always a negative thing.

Sometimes, they’re put in place to ensure that employees are rewarded sufficiently for their hard work and loyalty.

Or sometimes, as it seems, for their lack of hard work and loyalty..?

Workplace Rule 6: Employees will be paid $3000 if and when they hand in their notice. (Zappos)

Workplace Rule 7: Employees who reach their target, will be invited to take part in a company orgy. (Munich RE)

Workplace Rule 8: Employees are advised to come to work naked on Fridays. (Onebestway)

If you’d like to read about more (really) weird and wonderful employee perks, check out this blog.

Health and Safety Gone Mad.

Did you actually read the health and safety policy when you started your job?

You should’ve, but it’s a LONG, ARDUOUS, BORING document…

It seems that everything is a hazard these days.

man in office with gas mask

Workplace Rule 9: It is forbidden to sit in your chair at the lowest possible height. 

Workplace Rule 10: It is forbidden to tie Christmas tinsel around your lollipop (for the Lollipop Man).

Workplace Rule 11:  Do not move your own furniture. Call (and pay) the movers instead.

Workplace Rule 12: No eating, whilst walking.

It’s like they don’t trust us to keep ourselves safe…

(Then again, after reading workplace rules 1-5, can you really blame them?)

Keeping Up Appearances.

Whilst on my search for ridiculous workplace rules, I came across a whole range of weird uniform regulations.

But the following three really did shock me to the core (and two from very well-known companies, as well).

Definitely a lawsuit waiting to happen…

Mickey mouse hugging a child in Disney LandWorkplace Rule 13: Female workers are required to wear skin-coloured underwear. (UBS)

Workplace Rule 14: All personnel are required to share underwear. (Disney World)

Workplace Rule 15: Employees found wearing the colour orange will be sacked.

(Employees at a legal firm in Florida actually did get sacked for showing up in orange on payday (a tradition). The new management team saw it as an act of defiance against them… paranoid much?)

Of course, all three have now been reassessed and updated. I wonder why?!

Procrastination Prevention.

Gwen Stefani drinking tea arrogantlyEveryone procrastinates.

(Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise!)

But the following rules are just a little bit too strict – it’s like being back at school.

Workplace Rule 16: All employees must ask, before visiting the toilet. 

Workplace Rule 17: You must not keep anything shaped like a mobile phone in your pocket. 

Workplace Rule 18: Telephones are forbidden and emails should be kept to a minimum. (Evernote)

Workplace Rule 19: Tea-drinking is only permitted in the kitchen. (NHS)

Workplace Rule 20: Employees must clock out, before engaging in chit-chat. (Carlisle City Council)

Hopefully it did help to make people more productive, but I have a sneaking suspicion it may have done the opposite.

Breeding bad feeling in the office  is never a good idea; staff who love a business will work harder for it!

Just Plain Weird.

foot measurement tool that use for checking the size of footSo you probably thought most of our other categories were “just plain weird”..?

Well I simply couldn’t leave out the following few confessions that I found on Reddit

They don’t exactly fit into the categories above.

Workplace Rule 21: It is forbidden to eat oranges in front of the CEO.

Workplace Rule 22: You must not share personal fizzy drinks with people at work.

Workplace Rule 23: Always wear trousers when flying the helicopter.

Workplace Rule 24: No strippers allowed in the office. 

Workplace Rule 25: The foot-measuring device is for measuring feet only. 

I would absolutely LOVE to find out which companies felt the need to impose these rules on their poor employees!

The Moral of the Story?

Honestly, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I worked my way through some of these purely ridiculous workplace rules.

Whoever came up with them should be ashamed!

Recruiter Pro Tip.

We jest, but there is (as always) a moral to the story.

It is very important to have rules in the workplace – if there weren’t any, you’d probably end up with a bunch of under-performers and trouble-makers!

However, keeping your employees happy, engaged and incentivised is the key to success and imposing ridiculous, unwarranted and downright offensive rules like those above, will do the complete opposite.

Do you think you can top these terrible workplace rules?

If so, we’d absolutely LOVE to hear from you; just pop us a comment below (or if you’re already subscribed, pop us a reply via email). 

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You’ll be surprised by some of things we’ve witnessed in our time!

Happy Friday!

- Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson

Mark is one of the founders of Coburg Banks and heads up the permanent recruitment division of the business.  Every day he helps companies with their recruitment projects, sourcing the very best individuals for their vacancies.  He understands recruitment inside-out.

> More blog posts by Mark Wilkinson

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