Every workplace has some annoying or outdated rules, but there are some office rules that are downright ridiculous. 

HR Grapevine has collected nine of the strangest, strictest and most oddly specific workplace rules they could find.

What were they thinking?

  1. One business didn’t let their employees use the copier without approval from a supervisor. Apparently, the company was afraid employees would make personal copies, so its solution was to have workers get permission every time they needed to use the machine.
  2. Banning shouting from the workplace seems to make sense, but it doesn’t work everywhere. One employee was reprimanded for yelling at his boss on the loud factory floor where everyone was wearing ear protection.
  3. One employee worked in an office where donuts were only allowed on Fridays. If someone brought donuts into the break room on any other day, the CEO would throw them out. Any other food was permitted on any day.
  4. One company’s policy was for employees to warn supervisors four to five days before they needed to take a sick day.
  5. A company didn’t have a formal dress code in place, until one day employees were sent a mysterious email forbidding spandex, stating there was an “incident.”
  6. Because of one employee who had OCD, the company implemented some rules for everyone to make him more comfortable. These included: wearing uniform patterns, wearing rings or bracelets on both hands so they are the same, and lining up for the bus outside in male, female, male order.
  7. One office allowed employees to eat hot food at their desks…but only if it was fresh. Workers were not permitted to bring leftovers from home and reheat them in the microwave.
  8. One person worked as a lifeguard at his university’s pool, which every student had access to. But the worker’s boss wrote him up if he had any friends at the pool (who were other students that had access to it).
  9. One company only allowed employees 20 minutes per week for bathroom breaks, which comes out to be four minutes a day. An employee got written up for exceeding the limit.

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