Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh $%!* - cursing in the workplace

I'll be the first to admit that I have a pretty terrible potty mouth, and I know plenty others like me who do as well.  I've never really thought twice about it, but I did come across a couple of articles that made me question my own behavior, and that of others as well.  Is cursing in the workplace an acceptable, and even productive, way to blow off steam?  Or is it viewed as unprofessional, and can it get you into hot water?

What I found struck me as interesting - there seems to be a disconnect on a couple of levels, but primarily between the perception of cursing vs. its positive effects.

First question: Who thinks cursing in the office is a problem?  If the research is to be believed, managers do, big time. According to a survey conducted by TheLadders.Com of 2,520 executives, 38% of the managers surveyed actually fired employees for cursing - higher than the amount of managers who fired employees for drinking on the job (35%) or making too many personal calls (28%).  81% of coworkers said they disliked cursing.

Okay, so people don't like cursing.  But, believe it or not, it has its positive virtues.  According to one study, cursing in the workplace can help relieve frustration and tension by providing a "mechanism for relieving stress."  According to another, cursing in the workplace can increase morale and help build a sense of teamwork.

So, cursing in the office has it's positive effects. Holy $!#@.


Lehigh Valley Transplant said...

Last week, a client cursed in an e-mail to me. I wasn't offended, but I was surprised, because we don't know one another that well!

Anonymous said...

Cursing is never considered professional.