Have you ever felt like killing your boss?


22 per cent of workers from construction companies have imagined killing their bosses, followed by the media industry, where 15 per cent shared similar emotions. 

There is always a love–hate relationship with bosses. But the intensity of hatred varies from employee to employee. Yes, there are people who hate their bosses to the extent that they wish to kill them.

According to a survey conducted in the UK, 22 per cent of the respondents hate their bosses and 12 per cent hate them to the extent of wanting to kill them!

So which are the most murderous sectors? Employees from the construction industry top the list with 22 percent of those surveyed admitting to having actually imagined killing their boss. This was followed by the media, where 15 per cent of the respondents wished they could take their boss’ life followed by science and technology at 14 per cent, and arts & entertainment as well as retail at 13 per cent each.

When asked about the reason for the hatred for their boss, 44 per cent of the respondents attributed it to the unachievable tasks set by them, while 45 per cent thought their bosses were ‘control freaks’. 39 per cent of those surveyed said their bosses had negatively impacted their mental or physical health.

The study reveals that 54 per cent of employees had never asked their boss for a raise. Many of these respondents were nervous to broach the subject, while 41 per cent presumed that their boss would refuse. Around 48 per cent shared that their bosses had claimed credit for their work, with 50 per cent alleging that their bosses had previously blamed them for their own wrong deeds.

Around 20 per cent of the respondents hated their jobs, with 52 per cent naming their boss as the main cause of dissatisfaction. Around 20 per cent of respondents were willing to forego a raise if their boss was fired!

According to the study, 57 per cent employees hated their job because they had to catch up on e-mails or work tasks outside of working hours.

Retail emerged as the unhappiest sector with 30 per cent of the respondents stating that they hated their jobs, followed by the construction industry at 27 per cent.

The bad boss is not just fiction. 45 per cent workers claimed to have been ignored by their bosses, and 44 per cent believed their managers had not given them adequate praise.

Such is the hatred for bosses that 41 per cent of the respondents avoid their bosses at work events, and 23 per cent said they would even avoid them if they saw them on the street.

There is a quantum learning for bosses and organisations from this survey. The fact is that a bad boss can adversely impact the employees’ life as a whole, affecting both their physical and mental wellbeing.

The survey collected responses from 2,222 workers between October and November 2017.


  1. Need to examine the corporate people values and policy at the top leadership level with a cascading effect, while such bosses worthy of being killed need to be weeded out irrespective of their business skills and goals contribution, while killing their team members systematically day in and day out, while being condoned by the top management unfortunately.

    All the more need for organisation development and all round talent engagement interventions to be acknowledged by the top leadership, for business growth with people excellence.

    best regards, kshantaram

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Prajjal Saha is the editor and publisher of HRKatha, which he founded in 2015. With nearly 25 years of experience in business journalism, writing, and editing, he is a true industry veteran who possesses a deep understanding of all facets of business, from marketing and distribution to technology and human resources. Along with his work at HRKatha, he is also the author of the Marketing White Book. Thanks to his extensive experience and expertise, he has become a trusted source of insight and analysis for professionals across a wide range of industries.