London : Workers want a ‘chilled out entertainer’ with a sense of humour as a boss rather than someone they trust or respect, it has been claimed.
According to a new poll, most employees would prefer to have a boss who was like David Brent, the fictional character from the television programme ‘The Office’.
The ability to laugh with a manager was the single most effective trait when fostering good relationships between staff and bosses, the survey by officebroker.com found.
One in four employees said a sense of humour was their most valued trait in a boss, followed by trust cited by one in five and patience identified by one in seven.
Other favourable characteristics included fairness, open communication and honesty.
Comical bosses, such as the Ricky Gervais creation David Brent, were found to be more important to female employees than male, with six in ten men preferring a funny boss compared with four in ten women.
While sharing a joke with the boss was not mentioned as boosting job satisfaction it was cited as a way of relieving tension in the workplace.
A spokesman from officebroker.com said that the findings revealed a mutually shared sense of humour benefited any relationship whether work or social.
“As workers are pushed to do more demanding and time consuming roles it’s becoming increasingly important that they can share a joke with their boss in a bid to increase their enjoyment of the working day,” the Telegraph quoted the spokesman as saying.
“A sense of humour is an extremely personal thing and so any worker luck enough to have a boss with the same tastes as them could be on to a winner in terms of job satisfaction.
“We found traits which are widely regarded as being positive to a working relationship such as respect, trust and open communication still went a long way to a productive environment but it seems many workers want to go one step further and regularly share a joke with a superior.
“In fact, of those employees we polled, many stated they believed that the ability to share a joke with a boss encouraged a culture of openness in the workplace and helped remove formal barriers.
“It is worth noting however that a boss who jokes around too much, a David Brent style character, could well risk damaging now only his, but also his employee’s performance, it really is a fine line.
“We all know how stressful work can be and often this is caused by a fraught boss employee relationship, so the ability to relieve any tension by sharing a joke is not only enjoyable but in the long-term could prove essential for businesses,” he added.