Comedian Miranda Hart once said: “The embarrassment of a situation can, once you are over it, be the funniest time in your life.”
That unintentional and socially-mortifying workplace accident that happened six months ago may now be moment of comedy gold for your fellow colleagues – even if it still makes you blush.
On the topic of workplace embarrassment, a Kit Out My Office survey has found what causes these slapstick office moments.
39% of the 2,243 respondents to the survey claimed that the layout of office furniture was the primary cause behind said awkward incidents.
However, it’s arguable that it is our natural defences and sense of pride that causes us to blame the most embarrassing office accidents on inanimate objects.
Gareth Jones, Business Manager at Kit Out My Office, said: “I travel to quite a few different offices as part of my role at Kit Out My Office and I’ve heard of many funny stories of accidents in the office.
“The one that stands out is from a member of the team at New Car Bundle in Hull. My usual contact normally greets me at reception, but on one occasion they didn’t as I was told they had hurt their back picking up a stapler. I honestly thought I was being made a fool of until I asked my contact, who confirmed the story and said he was having to seek physiotherapy to make it better. Needless to say, they were embarrassed as it happened in front of most of the team.”
When it comes to ownership of our clumsy moments, which gender is more willing to accept responsibility for falling over that wet floor sign or tripping over their own shoelaces?
73% of women accept responsibility for their workplace fails compared to a significantly lower 44% of men.
In addition to this, the male gender is three per cent more likely to blame someone or something else for the accident, equating to 80% of men compared to 77% of women.
To prevent workplace accidents happening again, Wendy Young, author of ‘Get Inside Your Comfort Zone’, explains: “Many changes can be small, like taking short breaks from your workspace and sitting naturally in your chair - these can be done without consulting an expert.
“They may seem trivial, but small changes like these can help keep your concentration and avoid a potentially embarrassing accident.”
The top five embarrassing workplace accidents can be seen on the next page...