UK workers are more likely to trust Google with their work worries than their colleagues. Common search queries, such as “My colleagues are racist”, “My colleagues are idiots”, “Someone I work with has bed bugs”, “My job kills my soul” range from funny, to worryingly depressing. There are 2.4 million Google searches for the term ‘job search’ each year – that’s 273 an hour – and a significant peak in January,

CIPD course provider, DPG Plc., analysed Google Autocomplete data to see if the search giant could shed any insight onto the matter. They discovered that a number of searches were things that could be discussed with HR departments, but we now trust Google in some instances more than our partner, so perhaps it is becoming natural to turn to Google for workplace issues. Despite initial results seeming light hearted, the majority of searches were extremely negative, suggesting an air of desperation in UK workplaces.

Managing Director at DPG Plc., Paul Drew, said “Google has become first port of call for solving queries and embarrassing problems, but the trouble is that the advice out there is rarely as useful as it may seem, and it’s worrying that people aren’t confiding in their HR department when they have an issue.”

“HR departments are trained specifically for dealing with sensitive issues, so people should never feel that they can’t ask them for help. Unfortunately, the Google dependent world we live in can lead to HR being cut out of the equation. That’s when employees take matters into their own hands, with at best unhelpful results and at worst – a potential employment law issue.”

“For example, if you feel a colleague has a hygiene issue, you should never deal with it yourself. You can risk hurting the colleague’s feelings or even making them feel harassed. Instead, speak with your HR department and voice your concerns. They’ll be able to deal with it in a diplomatic way and by the book.”