10 Unreasonable Office Rules That Chase Away Good Employees

10 Unreasonable Office Rules That Chase Away Good Employees

shutterstock_314419967We’ve gone around asking employees from different sectors and industries in Malaysia polling for their opinions about their office environment. While we do understand that companies need to establish some ground rules to maintain good order and high productivity. Employer and HR should not breach that boundary where rules and regulations restrain an employee’s drive or passion.

Both employer and HR should really reflect and think whether the rules implemented are making or breaking the employee. If the sudden new rule is created with malice or ill-intention at those you would like to get rid of, well sad to say that rule is an unreasonable rule.

We’ve compiled the top 10 unreasonable office rules that would make good employees to leave your organization:

  1. Unreasonable Attendance Policies

Both Employer and HR should know by now that salaried people are no longer school going children. If an employer is unhappy that an employee comes in 5 minutes late but fails to appreciate how the employee works 1 hour overtime, the company probably doesn’t deserve that employee at all. Our advice is, find the balance between the 2. Perhaps have 2 sets of working hours where Batch A starts at 8.30am and Batch B starts at 9.30am. Those batch that start work at earlier time, gets to leave the office earlier than the batch who starts work 1 hour later.

  1. Unreasonable Approvals for Everything

Bureaucracy can be the death of everyone. If employees need their manager’s written approval just to ask Admin for a new notepad… *rolls eyes*. A company should choose to trust the employees they hired enough for them to make trivial decisions such as this. This way, you can actually invest time and effort in building up the employee and eventually entrust more roles and responsibilities in the near future.

  1. Unreasonable Hiring Processes

Ever wondered how someone with less qualifications than you ended up getting a position above your’s? Well, this could probably be because the company is screening resumes by means of a keyword search as opposed to sieving through applicants one-by-one. We’re advocates of humanizing the hiring process so that the right people are hired for the correct position.

  1. Unreasonable Internet Restrictions

We’re not saying that blocking NSFW (Not Safe for Work) sites at work is wrong. Unfortunately, many companies restrict employees’ Internet activity so unnecessarily that it limits their ability to do their jobs! Classic example? Limiting “Google Search” to the point that people are access information for work purpose.

  1. Unreasonable Rules on Frequent-flyer Miles

When employees fly for work trips, they have definitely earned their frequent-flyer miles. Travelling is a sacrifice of time and energy, the very least they should get is the miles earned. Companies who do not allow employees to keep their miles points for personal use are only encouraging resentment with every flight.

  1. Unreasonable Mobile Phone Restrictions

Of course, companies need to set a limit to phone use so that it doesn’t hinder productivity. However, employees spend most of their waking hours at work. Yet, some organizations ban the use of mobile phones at work? This step disconnects employees with their loved ones or friends. It will definitely bite back at companies due to employees’ lack of social life, which is crucial for their mental health and happiness.

  1. Unreasonable Rules for Performance Reviews

There are instances when a bureaucratic five-point scale just doesn’t add up for brilliant and talented people. Bell curve performance reviews for example encourage the retention of mediocre employees and not those who actually outperform! However, the largest abomination of performance reviews has to be ‘stack ranking’, where the company lines up employees and compares them with each other (and here we thought The Hunger Games was just fiction).

  1. Unreasonable Salary and Commission Structures

Companies should realize that rigid salaries are a thing of the past! If an employee is contributing massively to the company, the managers and HR should revise the employee’s benefits to show appreciation. However, if the HR comes back by saying you’re getting the normal 5% increase in annual salary (that everyone else is getting!) then there would be no surprises if the company turnover rate skyrockets. (Note: This is by far the highest poll among the 10 Unreasonable Rules)

  1. Unreasonable Rules For Time-Off

Let’s say a dedicated employee works hard, clocks overtime and produces excellent results. The least the company can do is allow him/her to take their toil leave like an annual leave at any time they need their time off. Employers who scrooge on well-deserved toil leaves or even medical leave are downright unfair and deserve to see good employees leaving.

  1. Too Many Unreasonable Rules In The First Place

To be completely honest, how many of us actually do read the employee’s handbook? (if it even exits or is updated anyway). If HR expects you to completely memorize the entire thing, they should have gotten rid of at least half of those rules in that 75-page handbook in the first place! Getting people to follow your policies should be a day-to-day thing, incorporated into the company culture. Nobody likes words without action framed in a handbook that is just TL;DR (too long; didn’t read).

Companies should realize that offices should be run where the inhabitants are mature enough to do what they were hired to do, not run like some concentration camp or prison with 7-levels of security complete with feverish paranoia.


This article was originally written by Rebecca Koay with the title “10 Stupid Office Rules That Chase Away Good Employees”. We’ve tweaked it a little bit here and there 😉

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