Senior leaders opt for a good “heart to heart” before turning to the bottle or biscuit tin…

London – September 8th 2017, Question and Retain (Q&R), the online Pulse Check company, ran a one question pulse asking c3000 senior professionals for their views on what they fall back on after a bad day at the office.

The results confirmed that 47% of people like to talk it through with someone close or a colleague and prefer that person to be outside of work. Interestingly, comfort eating and drinking emerged as two popular alternatives to talking about it.

The Pulse, designed to take a snapshot of what people turn to when the chips are down at work, captured the following:

Q: When work is tough, what is the FIRST thing you do to cheer yourself up?

  • 38% said they would talk to a friend/partner/professional
  • 9% said they would talk to a colleague or to HR
  • 12% said they would comfort eat
  • 12% said they would pour themselves a drink
  • 6% said they would ‘grin and bear it’
  • 6% said they would look for a new job
  • 2% said they would vent their frustration on social media
  • 15% said none of the above

Talking to a friend/partner/professional was the most popular view with one respondent working in Internal Communications remarking, “I find it helps to firstly talk to someone outside of your workplace as they can provide an objective view.”

Clearly alcohol has its healing properties for some as 12% said they would “pour myself a drink” with another respondent in a senior role in HR saying, “The job is the job. You get tough days and less tough days. Just get on with it or get out is my motto.”

Of those who fell into the “none of the above” category, one comment from C-suite community resonated, “I think sometimes work can be emotionally and physically draining but the reality is that it’s not something you can shy away from as a CEX, this is why you get paid for what you do.”

Imogen Osborne, Co-Founder, Q&R summed up as follows, “The ability to talk problems through is clearly the number one choice. Managing stress in the workplace is really tough. What is encouraging to see is that people want to talk things through first before turning to the bottle or challenging their cholesterol levels. That said, there is a proportion of people who prefer quick fixes to handling difficult situations. The key for any business today is to look at how it is helping its people process problems at work and one of the best ways of doing that is to keep an open conversation going.”

When work is tough, what is the FIRST thing you do to cheer yourself up?

About Q&R:
Question and Retain (Q&R) Ltd helps companies to listen to their key stakeholders and make better business decisions as a result. To find out more, please go to