Britons forgetting their office manners

2004

Simple courtesy appears to be on the decline in Britain’s workplaces as a new survey suggest that rudeness and bad manners are becoming the norm at work.

Research by recruitment firm Office Angels has found that almost two thirds of office workers admit to being regularly late for meetings. To make matters worse, some also think it is acceptable to answer mobile phone calls or chew gum during meetings.

Seventy two per cent simply ignore ‘tricky’ emails they should reply to and more than half have answered a mobile or sent a text message while in conversation with someone else. Over three-quarters also feel they swear too much at work.

Sadly, the survey of 1000 workers found that most people think their bad behaviour is perfectly normal, with two-thirds blaming ‘pressure of work’ for their bad manners.

But despite the numbers who admitted to poor behaviour, almost three-quarters of those questioned agreed that their office would be a nicer place if employees – presumably including themselves - made more effort to improve their behaviour.

Office Angels’ Paul Jacobs said avoiding rudeness could dramatically improve the working environment.

"Today's working environment is both a very informal and a very hectic place,” he said, “and as a result people often forget their manners and overlook proper etiquette such as introducing people at meetings, which can make all the difference to working relationships.

"Avoiding bad manners at work is such a simple thing to do and can have a dramatic impact on improving your working environment and your relationships with others," he added.

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