Survey Reveals How Many Workers Commit Office Taboos

Ever wonder why you can't seem to get anything done in the office? It may be because your co-workers are preoccupied with something other than work. "Workplace Taboos" is a new survey, conducted by Harris Interactive of more than 5,700 workers. The most common workplace taboos that workers admitted to taking part in include:

  -- Falling asleep at work (45 percent)
  -- Kissing a co-worker (39 percent)
  -- Consuming alcoholic beverages while on the job (21 percent)
  -- Stealing from the office (22 percent)
  -- Spreading a rumor about a co-worker (22 percent)
  -- Snooping after hours (18 percent)
  -- Lying about an academic background (4 percent)
  -- Taking credit for someone else's work (2 percent)

  Who is most likely to commit workplace taboos?

Men report that they engage in all of these workplace taboos more than women. For instance, nearly half (49 percent) of men have fallen asleep on the job compared 35 percent of women. When it comes to kissing co-workers, 44 percent of men and 34 percent of women admitted to puckering up.

"As companies continue to embrace more casual environments, employees may develop a false sense of informality when it comes to the office behavior," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at "Employees should make sure they are aware of company policies, so something that initially seems 'harmless' doesn't end up negatively impacting a career."

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 5,727 US employees, (employed full-time; not self-employed; with no involvement in hiring decisions), ages 18 and over within the United States between June 1 and June 13, 2007. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 5,727, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.3 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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