• HR professionals share the funny and shocking things they’ve encountered 
  • “We captured screenshots of an employee watching indecent films on his work laptop.”

HR pros across the UK are revealing the most shocking offences they’ve come across whilst people are working from home.

From screensharing things with people you would rather not see (eek), to naked video call interrupters, working from home has brought with it new challenges.

And with almost half (44%) of the UK workforce now in full-time or hybrid remote jobs, Brits have revealed the most shocking HR offences they’ve experienced away from the office.

 

To better understand the incidents HR are now dealing with, TollFreeForwarding.com has spoken to both HR experts and employees to uncover some of their most unbelievable tales.

Here are eight working from home horror stories to show what not to do in the era of remote working.

 

  1. Unexpected Visitors 

People unexpectedly barging in on video calls is a common theme amongst WFH offences.

Niki, a marketing manager from Leeds, said she saw more than she expected from a work call when a colleague’s dad entered the frame:

“The worst thing I saw on a video call was someone’s dad in a towel after they came out of the shower and had no idea they were in the shot!”

HR manager, Steven, also had someone barge in on a Zoom call.

“One of the funniest things that happened while we were in a Zoom meeting was when the daughter of one of my colleagues suddenly barged into her room singing.  She was singing her heart out with actions and a high-pitched voice. She didn’t notice that we were having a meeting, so we heard her sing for a minute or two, when she realised and then apologised.”

 

  1. Oversharing 

Raymond, a UK HR rep, saw more than he bargained for when his company installed a monitoring app on employee computers:

“There was a time when we monitored employees’ work output by having them install a monitoring app. This app captured log-in times as well as screenshots of work done. One day, we captured some screenshots of an employee watching indecent films on his work laptop. The employee was then given a written warning for the offence.”

 

  1. Confidential Documents

Indecent videos weren’t the only sensitive materials seen by colleagues. During a training session with a client, marketing manager Ann and her team were accidentally shown confidential documents:

“I used to work with a company that offered outsourced customer service, where we were hired as remote call centre representatives. At one point, the company secured a new client, and our team was assigned to provide support for them.”

“The HR manager accidentally shared a document on the screen containing confidential information, specifically sensitive terms. This included the amount the client was paying for each representative’s services. To our surprise, we discovered that our compensation was less than 20% of what the client was paying.”

 

  1. Awkward Teams Message

Some people have been caught sharing information that was more hurtful than sensitive. Isabelle, a London-based software sales rep, said:

“One of my coworkers was presenting an online demo to a group in Australia, who kept asking, as he put it, ‘dumb questions.’ Eventually, he got frustrated and sent a Team’s message to one of our colleagues saying, ‘What is wrong with these idiots?’ forgetting he was still sharing his screen.”

According to Isabelle, the coworker was reprimanded and moved off the client.

 

  1. Slacking Off 

One recent Reddit post found several UK workers admitting to spending their WFH workday doing other activities.

Redditor LumpyCamera1826 said:

“I have spent many a working at home day with my charger holding down my spacebar while I play video games.”

BuBBles_the_pyro said:

“I fell asleep during a Zoom training. Luckily, it wasn’t interactive. Today I had a two-hour nap for lunch. Often, I play a game or two when I’m bored.”

IAm_Incognito_101 caught a flick or two. They said:

“I would go to my local cinema and watch a film for a few hours. I had a work mobile phone, so was able to constantly “nudge” Teams to make it seem like I was active/online.”

 

Jason O’Brien, COO of TollFreeForwarding.com, had this to say of the offences:

“Working from home certainly has its advantages, from increased productivity to employee work-life balance, but it’s clear that we’re still dealing with some growing pains in adapting to this new way of working. While we can forgive technical errors and the occasional child popping up in the background of a video call, we would never condone napping or skipping out on work to pop down to the cinema! It just goes to show how different it can be working from home, with new challenges along the way.”

For more embarrassing and awkward HR offences, visit the TollFreeForwarding.com blog.