How to deal with bizarre employee questions

How to deal with bizarre employee questions

Part and parcel of HR is dealing with employee requests – some may be reasonable, some less so, and a few it seems can be downright bizarre.

DPG, training experts in affiliation with CIPD, asked their community of HR professionals to reveal the most eclectic requests they have ever received from a staff member. The results can be found below;

“Can I hire a cat sitter for my new kitten and claim it on company expenses?”

“Hope you had a great time at the New Year’s party! I know we did in the sales team… Just out of interest - how often do we do random drug testing, and is it compulsory?”

“Since nobody on the team is taking a +1 to the Xmas party, could I use some of the spare budget to have my hair and makeup done and have my makeup artist on hand for any touch ups?”

 “I just wanted to ask if I could come in late on Monday so I could get my nails done? Emma is allowed to come in later when she has to drop her kids off so it’s only fair.”

 “I was wondering if I could work from home this Thursday? The tennis is on and I’d really like to watch it live whilst I work.”

 “I was up late last night and now I’m too tired to concentrate. Can I take this as a sick day?”

Adrian Lewis, Director of Activ Absence, explained how these requests, whilst humorous, shed light on what employees really value in terms of work perks.

“People love their animals,” he explained. “It may sound ridiculous, but if you allow someone time off to take a dog to the vets, should you discriminate if their pet of choice is a fish, a hamster or even a reptile?  It’s worth thinking about.

“Research shows that flexible working improves staff loyalty. Chances are if you say no to either of these requests, the staff concerned will have a bad attitude and spend all day being unproductive anyway, meaning everyone loses. 

“However, it is vital that flexibility comes with agreed productivity targets and that those targets are met.”

What is the strangest request you’ve ever had? Tell us in the comments…

Comments (1)

  • Shoobee
    Mon, 10 Oct 2016 8:26am BST
    We run an HR helpline. We had a call from an employer once whose employee asked if she could take carers leave because she stepped on her budgie and broke its wing and had to take it to the vet. Poor budgie

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