Could Bad Manners at Work Hurt Your Career?

Canadian Survey: Most Say Workplace Etiquette Affects Career Prospects, But People Grow Less Courteous as They Rise to the Top

TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - They say it's lonely at the top, and poor manners might at least be partially to blame, a recent Accountemps survey suggests. More than nine in ten (91 per cent) Canadian survey respondents said being courteous to coworkers has an impact on a person's career prospects. However, 63 per cent of workers believe people become less courteous as they climb the corporate ladder.

Among the rank and file, open office spaces also may give rise to bad manners. When employees were asked to name the biggest breach of workplace etiquette in this type of office environment, using a speakerphone or talking loudly on the phone topped the list (28 per cent); eating foods that have strong odours ranked second (20 per cent).

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 265 employees 18 years of age and older who work in an office environment in Canada.

Workers were asked, "In your opinion, to what extent does being courteous to coworkers positively impact a person's career prospects?" Their responses:

Somewhat, but skills play a bigger role 49%
Greatly, it can accelerate advancement 42%
No impact at all, it's who or what you know 6%
Don't know       3%
Total 100%

Workers also were asked, "In your opinion, do people become more or less courteous as they climb the corporate ladder?" Their responses:

More courteous 17%
Less courteous 63%
Don't know/Didn't answer 20%
Total 100%

Workers also were asked, "Which one of the following do you consider to be the biggest breach of workplace etiquette when working in an open office space?" Their responses:

Using a speakerphone or talking loudly on the phone 28%
Loitering or talking around a colleague's desk 18%
Eating foods that have strong odors 20%
Keeping a messy or cluttered workspace  10%
Leaving phone ringer on loud 14%
Don't know/can't choose just one 4%
Something else       6%
Total 100%

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"At any stage in your career, the essence of workplace etiquette is about always being respectful and aware of your actions, and how they have the potential to negatively affect those around you," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian district president of Accountemps. "By the nature of their demanding schedules and external pressures, some executives may lose sight of how their actions affect their teams when it comes to exercising courtesy and leading by example."

Added Hunnam-Jones, "There has been much debate about open concept office spaces - on one hand they can foster an environment of collaboration and camaraderie, but they can also expose behaviours that can distract people around, which can lead to problems."

"Displaying courtesy in a professional setting may not be all it takes to rise through the ranks, but it can only help your career in the long run."

Robert Half, parent company of Accountemps, has produced videos illustrating poor workplace etiquette as part of the firm's ongoing video series, "Don't Let This Happen to You." The videos can be found at roberthalf.com/don't-let-this-happen-to-you.

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at accountemps.com. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN, and gain insights on the latest financial hiring and salary trends at www.roberthalf.ca/salarycentre.

 

SOURCE Accountemps

Image with caption: "Accountemps Survey: Most Say Workplace Etiquette Affects Career Prospects (CNW Group/Accountemps)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140806_C9485_PHOTO_EN_42332.jpg




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