Have you ever had a client, customer, manager, colleague, or friend of a friend you really wish would just f*ck right off? Of course you have! We all have!
We all also have that one colleague or manager. The one that, several times a day, gets told to “watch your language” or “stop swearing”.
My team assures me that, in my workplace, that’s me. I’m THAT person. If you’re that person too, there is some good news for us!
A 2016 Wrike (a US-based Project Management firm) survey of 1,542 business employees found that 66% of millennials (aged 18-29) openly swear at work, compared to only 54% of their baby boomer and gen X colleagues (aged 30 and over). Of those who are comfortable with swearing: 80% do so in front of peers, while only 55% will swear in front of a manager, and just 30% will swear in front of an executive or senior manager. It was also found that considerably less of a swearers’ lexicon was of a sexual nature.
Sadly, these stats don’t include all the times you’ve cursed out a manager behind their back. Yes, you.
More good news! Swearing has been proven to relieve stress, promote resilience, make people appear more relatable and boost team morale. Think about a high stress environment – what works better, being able to have a grumble after a negative interaction? Or not being able to have a quick release and forcing yourself to push through?
What was can take from this, and other readily available studies on workplace profanity, is that it is becoming more and more commonplace. Though, if your supervisor tells you to stop swearing, I would not recommend telling them to “stop being a f*cking whiner”. Culture is king in the workplace and you need to make sure your company doesn’t have a strict anti-swearing policy – it could be the last f*cking thing you do there!
And, if you are the one person who is always told off for swearing, and it’s always the same one or two people telling you off, remember the wise words of the late, great Mr. George Carlin: “f*ck the f*cking f*ckers”.