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The Importance of Being Polite at Work – OnlineBusinessDegree.org

This week, Fox Small Business pointed out a forehead-smackingly obvious, but often overlooked point about office behavior: swearing at work can be bad for your career.

from Flickr user: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/

That’s right, it’s news that dropping F-bombs somehow makes you less of an employee. According to research, 64% of employers think less of foul-mouthed employees, and 57% would be less likely to promote swearing workers, citing that it calls the employee’s professionalism, control, maturity, and intelligence into question.

It doesn’t take a survey to realize these facts, though: it’s just common sense to watch your language in the office. Why, then, do workers continue to cuss? A whopping 51% of workers reported cursing in the office, and more than half of those do it in front of their bosses. It’s possible that workers feel comfortable in their office and let their guard down. Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that cussing at work can help you make friends and relieve stress, so there’s that.

Crude language isn’t the only way you can make a bad impression at work, though. There are plenty of ways to become the office jerk, and they can all negatively impact your career. Have you been engaging in these career busting behaviors?

  • Always running late. It’s a challenge for many, and most people understand the occasional tardiness, but chronic lateness is just plain terrible for your career. Being late disrupts everyone else’s schedule, and it’s just plain rude. Spend too much time being late, and you may even be stealing time from the company, something your boss will almost certainly notice.
  • Stealing lunches. Who does that, really? It’s a real buzzkill for the victims, but it’s even worse if you get caught. Imagine the embarrassment you’ll experience when your boss has to call you out for theft of a sandwich.
  • Being noisy. This is a little more difficult to quantify, but your coworkers could almost certainly identify it. If you’re the obnoxious, noisy coworker in your office, you may not even know it. Do you constantly use your speakerphone? Chew gum with your mouth open? Be a little more discreet-your coworkers will appreciate it.
  • Sharing negativity. No one wants a Debbie Downer in the office, and complainers just never really seem to get ahead. It’s not hard to imagine: workers who push back against work, new policies, coworkers, and even their own boss aren’t exactly on track to grow within the company.

If you’re guilty of being an office jerk, keep in mind that it could cost you your job. According to researchers, being a jerk might even cost you a few years of your life: people who get along with their coworkers may live longer. Clean up your act (and your language) to save your job, health, and happiness at work.

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