There are a number of ways that an employee can impress the person he/she works for. You could come into work early, always be sure that you’re dressed accordingly or even bring donuts for your co-workers – with the boss’ favorite set aside. According to a survey recently posted on CareerBuilder’s website, one of those ways is most certainly not by a steady stream of choice words.
A little more than half of the participants in the study, at 51 percent, admitted to swearing in the office. An overwhelming majority of those, at 95 percent, said that they curse in front of fellow employees, while 51 percent will do so with their boss in earshot. Senior leaders and clients are less likely to hear conversations laced with expletives, as only, respectively, 13 percent and seven percent of workers would reportedly speak in that manner in the others’ presence.
Of the employers who took part in the survey, most, totaling 81 percent, believe that swearing calls a person’s professionalism into question. Seventy-one percent associated the use of colorful language with a lack of control, 68 percent saw it as a lack of maturity and 54 percent believed that bleep-worthy dialogue tends to diminish employees’ intelligence.
Sixty-four percent of employers would think less of a worker who dabbles frequently in curses, and 57 percent even claimed that they would be less likely to offer a promotion to such an employee. Despite those stats, a fourth of employers surveyed admitted to swearing at their employees, and that bad influence may have inspired 28 percent of employees to swear at co-workers.
According to the survey, the employees who were most likely to swear at work were employed in the nation’s capital, with Washington, D.C. holding the highest percentage at 62. Denver and Chicago were a close second and third at, respectively, 60 percent and 58 percent. Rounding out the top ten were Los Angeles and Boston, both at 56 percent; Atlanta with 54 percent; Minneapolis holding a steady 50 percent; Phoenix at 47 percent; New York with 46 percent; and Philadelphia trailing at 44 percent.
In terms of gender, men evidently have more room in their speech for curse words than women, with 54 percent just beating the woman’s percentage of 47. In the same vein, younger employees were less likely to swear in the workplace, with the age group of 18-24 including only 42 percent of cussing workers. Employees aged 35-44 had the greatest percentage, at 58, while the rest are as follows: employees ages 25-34 and employees ages 45-54 at 51 percent, and employees ages 55 and older at 44 percent.
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder. The survey, held between May 14 and June 4, 2012, included 2,298 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,892 U.S. workers, aged 18 or over, who were employed full-time and were not self-employed or government workers.