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    1 in 4 Belgians have nightmares about their boss

    About 23% of Belgian employees suffer from nightmares about their boss. Credit: Pixabay

    Nearly one in four Belgian employees regularly suffer from nightmares about their boss, according to a study by StepStone.

    The job website StepStone conducted a study across more than 5,700 Belgians in October 2019, aiming to support and raise awareness for the well-being of employees. The data showed that 23% of Belgian employees have had nightmares about their boss, and 16% have even sought help for their mental health because of a bad relationship with their manager.

    When the employees were asked to rate their boss’ competence on a scale of 1 to 10, the average manager received a 5.9. However, when the managers were asked to give themselves a score, the average was 7.5.

    In both Flanders and Wallonia, about 20% of all respondents stressed the importance of a strict separation between work and their private lives, saying that they would actively avoid their boss outside of the workplace.

    However, the study also showed noticeable differences between the relationship French-speaking and Dutch-speaking employees have with their boss. French-speaking people, in general, gave a better relationship with their direct manager than their Dutch-speaking colleagues (29% to 21%).

    Among Dutch-speaking respondents, 6% stated that they were friends with their manager and 27% indicated that they trusted their superior. For French-speaking respondents, this was 8% and 39% respectively.

    52% of Dutch-speaking employees agreed that they would dare to approach their manager with work problems, compared to 70% of French-speakers. In regards to personal problems, 21% of Dutch-speakers compared to 32% of French-speakers indicated they would not be afraid to talk to their manager about.

    Even though the data has no clear indicators as to why the regional differences are so noticeable, it is assumed that a difference in work culture could be the reason, with Dutch-speakers preferring a stricter work-life separation, according to the research.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times