Bad Language

The Consequences Of Using Bad Language At Work


Oops, a little slip of the tongue and a bad word slips out of your mouth at work. In this day and age should we be concerned about using profanity in the office? After all we are being inundated with the likes of Gordon Ramsey, Joan Rivers and the X-files.

Last week I was interviewed by CBC Television on the consequences of swearing at work. CareerBuilder recently conducted a nationwide survey on swearing in the office and the results were interesting. They found that half of the workers surveyed swear in the office and of those who swear, 

  • 95% swear in front of their coworkers
  • 45% in front of their bosses
  • 17% in front of senior leaders
  • 7% in front of clients

The impression you leave on your employer

  • 81 percent believe that the use of curse words brings the employee's professionalism into question
  • 71% are concerned with the lack of control
  • 68% with the lack of maturity
  • 54% thought swearing made an employee appear less intelligent

The bottom line

While you may think that it is your prerogative to use bad language at work, think again, as it may be costing you. Sixty-four percent of employers said that they'd think less of an employee who repeatedly uses curse words, and 57 percent said they'd be less likely to promote someone who swears in the office. The bottom line is swearing is poor business communication and creates a negative impression.

Taming your tongue

Breaking a bad habit takes time and a desire to change. Some companies resort to having a Swear Jar and fining employees a minimal amount for each time they’re caught swearing. For those companies that want to eliminate profanity in the office, there’s a company called the Cuss Control Academy that offers seminars and presentations on how to tame your tongue. Check out their Ten Tips for Controlling Your Tongue.