FreeOfficeFinder has recently conducted a survey to find out how office workers in the UK view their managers.

We work with businesses on a daily basis, and we have helped find office space for companies from Central London to Edinburgh. We decided to conduct the survey to give business owners, managers and employees a general idea of how people view their superiors in the office. The results may give us a good idea as to why people do or don't like their boss, and hopefully we can all learn something from it.

In total, 1052 people took the survey. 612 males and 440 females, a 58% 42% split. Out of the respondents, 317 (35%) were aged between 18 and 25, 368 (35%) between 26 and 30, 304 (29%) between 31 and 35, with 61 (6%) older than 35.

We asked the participants whether their direct supervisor was male or female, with 619 (59%) being male and 433 (41%) being female. 

We then asked the participants how much they liked their boss, with the options being not at all, not very much, indifferent (neither like nor dislike), like a little and like a lot:

How much do you like your boss?

• Not at all: 242 (23%)

• Not very much: 307 (29%)

• Indifferent: 93 (9%)

• Like a little bit: 269 (26%)

• Like a lot: 141 (13%)

Out of the 1052 office workers surveyed, over half of them either don’t like their boss at all or don’t like them very much. 39% of the participants answered that they like their boss (at least a little).

We then asked the participants in the survey to tell us what they like and don’t like about their boss. They had the option to select more than one option for this question:

What do you like about your boss?

• They communicate well: 283

• They show recognition for good work: 130

• They are good at their job: 234

• They have fair expectations: 238

• They are easily approachable: 178

•They encourage progression: 176

What don’t you like about your boss?

• They communicate poorly: 256

• They are dishonest: 144

• They are overly critical: 180

• They show a lack of recognition: 216

• They don’t pay you enough: 203

• They are a bully:  213

• They are incompetent at their job: 163

• They have favourites: 120

• They shout: 83

• Their expectations are too high: 76 

Our next question asked whether or not the participants dread going to work because of their boss. 627 (60%) responded with yes, while 425 (40%) responded with no. 

Do you dread going to work because of your boss?

Office workers were then asked whether they think their boss is competent at their job:

How competent is your boss?

• Not at all: 156 (15%)

• Not very much: 262 (25%)

•Not sure: 288 (27%)

•A little: 227 (22%)

•Very: 119 (11%)

In total, 40% of the office workers who took part in the survey don’t think that their boss is very good at their job, with only 11% who think they are very good. 

The final question asked participants if they have ever quit a job because of their boss in their entire career. 656 (62%) said they had, while 396 (38%) hadn’t.

Male and female bosses: the difference

From our findings, we split the data into male and female bosses to see whether there was a difference in opinion:

Male (618)

•Not at all: 181 (29%)

•Not very much: 187 (30%)

•Indifferent: 54 (8%)

•Like a little bit: 187 (30%)

•Like a lot: 58 (9%)

Female (433)

•Not at all: 38 (8%)

•Not very much: 120 (27%)

•Indifferent: 38 (8%)

•Like a little bit: 131 (30%)

•Like a lot: 83 (19.2%)

The survey results showed us that almost half of all participants liked their female boss, but only 39% of respondents have positive feelings towards their male boss. Also, it appears that 19% of all survey respondents like their female boss a lot compared to only 9% for males. 8% of males and females neither like nor dislike their boss.