Outrageous workplace rules revealed

Sarah Coles
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has risked mutiny at Manchester City, by banning the sale of chocolate bars anywhere in the grounds. Members of staff - from top flight footballers to security guards and back office workers - will no longer be able to satisfy their sugary cravings from shops or machines on site. As part of the healthy eating push, they will be provided with the same low fat meals as the players, while pizza has also been banned.

It's the kind of change that would have many people re-thinking their choice of workplace. After-all, is anywhere so good to work that you can forego a KitKat Chunky? However, it's far from the only workplace to introduce a set of unexpected rules.

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We have rounded up 13 of the oddest workplace rules from around the web:

1. Back in 2014, the NHS in Leicester banned staff from drinking cups of tea, after managers said people had been "inflamed by seeing members of staff enjoying hot and cold drinks."

2. Upsetting members of the public is often the reason given for an odd rule. It also lies behind the municipal government of Isesaki in central Japan's decision to ban beards.

3. Health and safety is another old chestnut. On a recent Reddit thread, one worker said staff are banned from walking with their hands in their pockets - for health and safety reasons.

4. It was the same reason why one user said the company policy was for staff to wear safety goggles when using staplers.

5. Another company required safety harnesses to be used when in the lift - although the harness didn't have to be attached to anything.

6. Dress codes are also the source of some strange rules. YouGov put asked its panel about their oddest work rules, and one said that women's hair clips were policed - and only black or tortoise shell were allowed.

7. NPR radio station in the US also asked its listeners, and a number said there was a three-toe rule in their office - where staff couldn't wear shoes that revealed more than three toes.

8. Some edicts seem to come from bosses with a bee in their bonnet. French Senior Cabinet Minister Ségolène Royal (and partner of François Hollande) reportedly issued instructions in 2014 that members of staff should stand when she walked by.

9. One NPR listener said that when she started at one workplace, her boss explained that he had a very sensitive sense of smell, and then issued a list of approved washing powder, shampoo and body lotion.

10. One YouGov panel member said the entire company was banned from eating oranges when the CEO was there.

11. Meanwhile, other harsh rules either have a very complex reason behind them, or a moment of madness by those devising the rules. This includes Carlisle City Council, which told staff in 2011 that they would have to clock out of work if they intended to have a non-work-related conversation.

12. A Reddit user meanwhile was barred from drinking coffee after 2pm because it was 'wasteful'.

13. And a Yougov panel member said members of staff were not allowed to hang their jackets on the back of their chairs.