Here at FreeOfficeFinder we were curious about UK office workers and their opinion of their bosses, so we set to get some answers! We work with a range of businesses every day to help them find flexible office space that works for them throughout the whole of the UK. We surveyed a range of office workers to find out why people do or don’t like their boss, in the hope that businesses can use the results to adapt the way their own offices operate.

The Survey

We spoke to 1,052 people in total – a 58% (612) split of males to 42% (440) females. 35% (317) of participants were aged 18 to 25, 35% (368) were aged 26 to 30, 29% (304) were aged 31 to 35 and 6% (61) were aged over 35.

We also asked them the gender of their boss; 59% (619) said male and 41% (433) said female.

How much do you like your boss?

The first question we asked was whether they liked their manager. We provided a range of options from ‘not at all’ through to ‘like a lot’, they told us:

  • Like a lot: 141 (13%)
  • Like a small amount: 269 (26%)
  • Indifferent: 93 (9%)
  • Didn’t Like Much: 307 (29%)
  • Not at all: 242 (23%)

This means that out of everyone we asked, over 50% of them indicated that they had some negative thoughts towards liking their boss. 39% of people told us that they liked their boss to some extent.

We asked them to expand on what they don’t like or do like in respect of their manager; we gave them the option to select multiple options for the question.

What do you like about your boss?

They told us that with regard to their manager, they liked:

  • They support progression: 176
  • Easy to approach: 178
  • Their expectations of fair: 238
  • Competent at their role: 234
  • Recognise good work: 130
  • Good communicators: 283

What don’t you like about your boss?

The things they disliked about their boss:

  • Set expectations too high: 76
  • They shout: 83
  • They have favourites: 120
  • Not competent within their role: 163
  • Bully staff:  213
  • The pay is too low: 203
  • They don’t celebrate successes 216
  • They criticise too much: 180
  • They are not very honest: 144
  • Poor communicators: 256

Do you dread going to work because of your boss?

We wanted to ask employees about their work attendance and whether this was affected by their boss. 60% (627) people told us that they sometimes dreaded attending work due to their boss and 40% (425) said they never had.

How competent is your boss?

As part of this, we wanted to know how they felt their boss worked and whether they were competent within their role.

  • Very: 119 (11%)
  • A little: 227 (22%)
  • Not sure: 288 (27%)
  • Didn’t Like Much: 262 (25%)
  • Not at all: 156 (15%)

Surprisingly only 11% of people told us that they thought their boss was good within their job role, whereas 40% of people who participated thought their boss was not very good at carrying out their job role.

Lastly, we asked them about previous jobs and whether a manager had ever caused them to hand in their notice. 62% (656) told us they had quit a job previously due to their manager while 38% (396) told us they hadn’t.

The Difference in Genders

We thought we would break down the data to see if there was a difference between genders. When asked whether people liked their boss:

Male Manager (618)

  • Like very much: 58 (9%)
  • Like a small amount: 187 (30%)
  • Indifferent: 54 (8%)
  • Didn’t Like Much: 187 (30%)
  • Not at all: 181 (29%)

Female Manager (433)

  • Like a lot: 83 (19.2%)
  • Like a small amount: 131 (30%)
  • Indifferent: 38 (8%)
  • Didn’t Like Much: 120 (27%)
  • Not at all: 38 (8%)


Overall, female bosses were more popular with employees with nearly 50% of all people who took part liking them. Whereas when asked the same question, only 39% of people had the same feelings towards a male manager. When asked if they like their boss a lot, only 9% of people chose this option for a male boss whereas 19% said they liked their female boss a lot. Around 8% of all people taking part felt indifferent to their boss whichever gender.