Kit Out My Office, an online retailer of office furniture, has compiled a list of the most embarrassing office accidents. To produce the list, the firm asked 2,243 office workers across the UK to share either their own accident or ones they’ve witnessed.
By their very nature, accidents happen unexpectedly and unintentionally. However, Kit Out My Office aims to help workers avoid future humiliation by sharing these accidents so others can consciously dodge re-enacting them.
Top five embarrassing office accidents:
1 Attacked by the office cat
2 Falling over a wet floor sign
3 The first aid box falling onto someone out of a cupboard
4 Cutting an eye with a piece of paper
5 Picking up a stapler and putting your back out
In the survey, 39% of people stated that office furniture or the layout of desks was the cause of an accident they had or witnessed. This could suggest that we’re too proud to admit fault, but it’s most likely a natural defence mechanism to divert attention away from the awkward moment.
Of the respondents polled, Kit Out My Office asked the following questions related to their workplace mishap to understand whether or not one gender is more responsible than the other. Interestingly, women appeared to be more honest when it came to accidents, with 73% accepting responsibility compared to 44% of men. While 80% of male employees blamed someone or something else for their accident, only 77% did the same.
On the flip side, women were less likely to officially report their accidents than men (30% compared to 43%), but were also not ones to seek compensation from their employer (32% of women compared to 60% of men asked for money following an accident).
How can you prevent or minimise such accidents?
Wendy Young, an expert in ergonomics and author of Get Inside Your Comfort Zone, recommends a host of small changes in the workplace to lessen the chance of accidents, regardless of how embarrassing they may be. She says: “Many changes can be small – like taking short breaks from your workspace and sitting naturally in your chair. These can be done without consulting an expert. They may seem trivial, but they can help you keep your concentration and avoid a potentially embarrassing accident!”