I’m a sucker for oddball bits of research that somehow get funded and then make their way through to the real world (check out previous Ig Nobel winners for some gems like "Sword Swallowing and its Side Effects" and "Why woodpeckers don’t get headaches"). Last week, a marvellous bit of leadership / workplace-related research came to light, with the title of "Swearing at work and permissive leadership culture: when anti-social becomes social and incivility is acceptable".
Basically, the research says that letting people swear can both reduce stress and also improve a sense of solidarity in the workplace. As this news item reported, the study stated that:
"Employees use swearing on a continuous basis, but not
necessarily in a negative, abusive manner. Swearing was [seen] as a social
phenomenon to reflect solidarity and enhance group cohesiveness, or as
a psychological phenomenon to release stress"
Obviously, this isn’t encouraged in front of customers (or, one might add, trustees / directors). As the Guardian adds somewhat needlessly, "But great care is needed. Swearing that is discriminatory is out.
Employers have a duty of care so that staff have a reasonable working
Needless to say, the SSE office is blasphemy and expletive-free.