Google is being used by employees to get tips on how to deal with bully bosses

Over a thousand UK employees every month search about bullying bosses via Google, in order to get tips on how to deal with them.

Viking Direct, an office supplier conducted this research which found that 1,300  employees search about bully bosses every month.

The research also found that 900 people every month search for workplace pregnancy advice, this ties in with the “significant minority” of employers who said they would be reluctant to hire a woman who they believe could become pregnant.

“Can my boss watch me on CCTV from home” and “does my boss fancy me” both came in at 170 and 140 searches every month.

Alarmingly, 140 searches every month from employees asked the question, “how to kill your boss”, along with 90 searches asking “can I sue my boss for emotional distress”.

The top keywords people searched for when asking Google questions about their boss were:

  • Bully
  • Pregnant
  • Leaving
  • Raise
  • Fire
  • Hate
  • Romantically
  • Complain
  • Affair
  • Crush
  • Fancy
  • Maternity
  • Notice
  • Sex


Employees did search for how to solve issues with colleagues but so far less of an extent, such as 50 searches a month asking “how to work with a colleague who undermines you” as well as 30 people searching for “can I refuse to work with a colleague”?

Bob Huibers, marketing executive at Viking Direct said:

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.

In order to gather this data, Viking Direct used Google analytics in order to track the top questions and words searcher for.






Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.