The f-word means you're fired!
Curse words may be standard fare in most offices, but cussing could cost you your career. A survey of more than 2,000 executives conducted by TheLadders.com reveals that 36 percent of U.S. bosses have issued a formal warning for swearing, and six percent have actually fired an employee for swearing, deeming a foul mouth the most punishable of all workplace faux pas.
The survey also found that 81.2 percent of senior executives find a foul-mouthed colleague unacceptable to work alongside in the office. Nearly 100 percent of the survey respondents believed that the idea of office etiquette does exist and the majority (69.7 percent) said they would fire an employee for bad office manners. Fully 82 percent of executives surveyed said they have given an official warning for etiquette offenses, such as making too many personal calls, talking too loudly or wearing revealing clothing.
Of managers who have terminated employees for office etiquette offenses, the top five most common causes were:
When it comes to dealing with bad behavior in the cubicle next-door, co-workers had a slightly higher threshold for bad language. While 81.2 percent said they deem swearing in the workplace unacceptable, the absolute most offensive thing an office worker can do to his or her colleagues is steal their food from the office refrigerator. A full 97.8 percent of respondents rated fridge raiders the worst possible offenders of workplace etiquette.
- Bad language (38.4 percent)
- Excessive workplace gossip (36.5 percent)
- Drinking on the job (35.2 percent)
- Leaving the office without telling anyone (33.6 percent)
- Too many personal calls (28 percent)
When asked to rate the worst affronts to office etiquette, survey respondents selected the following:
"Some argue that in the 21st century employers should move with the times and accept a more casual work environment," says Marc Cenedella, CEO and founder of TheLadders.com. "But employees beware, in every office there exists an invisible line between professional and unprofessional, and it is very clear from our survey results that some common behaviors definitely cross the line."
- Eating someone else's food from the fridge (97.8 percent)
- Bad hygiene (95.6 percent)
- Bad habits (88.2 percent)
- Drinking on the job (85.7 percent)
- Wastefulness with paper (82 percent)
- Cooking smelly food in the office microwave (74.1 percent)
- Sneaking peeks at the BlackBerry in meetings (63.5 percent)
--From the Editors at Netscape