Working in an office can be a frustrating experience. Between malfunctioning technology, obnoxious colleagues, and a boss who’s on your a** 24/7, it can make you seriously want to scream. According to a new study, many office workers resort to swearing to vent their anger, and they do it 55 times a week on average.
I feel like that number is shockingly low. Maybe I’m just outing myself as having the mouth of a sailor, but I swear that much in general. It’s not that I don’t know how to express myself in more intelligent language, just that nothing quite gets the message across like a good “F**k!” That’s why I would have expected the number to be more like 100 rather than 55, but what do I know?
Pretty much everyone swears. According to the study by British telecom firm 4com, 11% of employees surveyed admitted to hearing more than 25 swear words at work every day. On the flip side, only 19% of respondents said that they try to watch their language while in the workplace. 12% of people really DGAF and say whatever they want, and hats off to them.
Some words are more popular than ever. In UK workplaces at least, “f**k” is the most common swear word, with “s**t” coming in second place. It should be noted that some of the words on their list are pretty tame, like “b*stard” and “tw*t,” so take the “swearing” part with a grain of salt.
Management is the worst. The survey discovered that the worst offenders when it comes to blurting out profanity were members of middle management, with 28% of survey respondents saying their line manager/supervisor had pretty foul mouths. Tied for second place with 18% were entry-level and admin staff members.
Catering staff are the nicest. Only 1% of those admit to using bad language, which is pretty sweet and encouraging—maybe their jobs aren’t as miserable as others. Then again, only 3% of interns swear regularly, so maybe they’re just scared stiff of being fired.
Swearing just feels good. As per Dr. Jo Gee, psychotherapist and founder of The Luna Hive, swearing has positive effects on our minds and bodies. “Studies suggest swearing can be beneficial, as the process of swearing is often cathartic, letting out pent up emotion, as well as aiding storytelling or jokes. Perceptions of those who swear are also more likely to be linked to the words ‘honest’ and ‘credible.’ As to why people use them at work, alongside the above reasons, for some, offensive language might be a ‘test’ for the work setting – with employees experiencing a thrill when swearing or using swear words to draw attention to themselves in a busy workplace.” Fair enough!
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