The F Word Means You’re Fired!

The F Word Means You’re Fired!

One in ten UK bosses has fired an employee for swearing at work.

– 47% would fire for bad language in the workplace

– 96% of employees believe swearing is unacceptable

– A foul mouth is no.1and no.2 in top ten office offenses

As Gordon Ramsay enforces a no swearing rule in his restaurants, a new report out today from reveals that one in ten UK bosses has fired an employee for swearing at work; whilst 17% have shown employees the red card for bad manners such as lunchtime drinking, personal calls and gossiping.

The poll of more than one thousand bosses conducted by the UK’s biggest search and selection site for senior executives, reveals that 47% of bosses would fire for bad language whilst 96% of senior managers said that they would find a foul mouthed colleague unacceptable to work alongside in the office.

In the current “F” Word Culture, report looked at how seriously senior managers viewed manners and office etiquette. 97% of respondents believed that good office etiquette was important whilst 57% said that they would fire an employee for bad manners. Seventy six per cent have given an official warning for etiquette offences such as a messy desk, flossing teeth or picking noses, bad breath or wearing trainers.

The top ten office etiquette offenses deemed unacceptable by senior managers are:

1.Bad hygiene (97%) – smelly breath and dirty clothes etc..

2.Bad language (96%)

3.Bad habits (95%) – flossing teeth with paperclip, picking nose etc..

4.Wastefulness (86%)

5.Not offering to share chores (86%)

6.Eating smelly food in the office (80%)

7.Eating someone else’s food out of the fridge/from their desk (79%)

8.Messy desk/office area and littering etc. (78%)

9.Loud talking (75%)

10.Blackberries in meetings (73%)

Nearly half of bosses find smoking breaks unacceptable whilst the use of personal technology – i.e. instant messaging (56%), listening to your ipod (56%) and blackberries in meetings (73%) are also particularly irksome.

Sarah Drew, General Manager of says: “Some argue that in the 21st century employers should move with the times and accept swearing as part of the every day vernacular, particularly when it’s glamorised by the likes of Gordon Ramsay. You can also argue that swearing eases stress at work and is a way of bonding with fellow colleagues. But employees beware, in every office there exists an invisible line between professional and unprofessional behaviour and swearing Ramsay style definitely crosses the line.”


Editor’s comment: I previously wrote about the negative impact of swearing.  As the sign in a barbershop in Huntingburg, Indiana states – “Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcibly” – swearing is not only offensive to almost everyone, it proves your lack of a powerful vocabulary.