More than a quarter of workers in the UK choose their career paths in order to avoid their office fears, according to job site CV-Library.
The survey of more than 3,000 workers found that public speaking (15.7%) was the biggest qualm that makes blood run cold in the office. Delivering presentations (12.2%) and cold calling (11.5%) completed the top three.
Leading a meeting (7.3%), missing targets (6.7%), speaking on the phone (6.4%), attending social events (6%), managing budgets (5.7%), liaising with senior staff (4.8%) and being away from home (3.4%) all completed the top ten.
The survey also uncovered how UK professionals react when faced with one of their work-based worries. Despite many workers selecting a career that removes them entirely from the situation, the majority of those who choose to face their fears appear to do so in a positive, proactive way. However, there are professionals who have adopted potentially damaging behaviours to help them deal with their workplace anxieties, which could become a real cause for concern. The top 10 reactions amongst UK workers, include:
- Tackle it head on – 26.6%
- Use as an opportunity to grow – 15.6%
- Ignore it – 12.2%
- Avoid the situation for as long as possible – 9%
- Keep a low profile - 7.6%
- Panic – 4%
- Call in sick – 2%
- Make up an excuse to get out of it – 2.2%
- Take annual leave – 1%
- Become aggressive – 1%
Interestingly, when asked to identify the best ways to address workplace fears, over half of workers (51.7%) felt ‘training opportunities and managerial support’ would be the most helpful.
Mr Biggins added: “Many workers would massively benefit from extra support from their employer. Businesses can help their staff address and overcome their anxieties by providing additional training and mentoring programmes.”