Monday, 15 June 2009
Swearing at work can cut stress
Swearing at work helps employees cope with stress, academics at a Norfolk university have said.
A study by Norwich's University of East Anglia (UEA) into leadership styles found the use of "taboo language" boosted team spirit.
Professor Yehuda Baruch, professor of management, warned that attempts to prevent workers from swearing could have a negative impact.
But Professor Baruch discouraged swearing in front of customers.
He said: "In most scenarios, in particular in the presence of customers or senior staff, profanity must be seriously discouraged or banned.
"However, our study suggested that, in many cases, taboo language serves the needs of people for developing and maintaining solidarity, and as a mechanism to cope with stress. Banning it could backfire.
"Managers need to understand how their staff feel about swearing.
"The challenge is to master the art of knowing when to turn a blind eye to communication that does not meet with their own standards."