Profanity is Unacceptable Say Small Business Owners

May 22, 2009 ( - Three-quarters of small business employers say workplace profanity is offensive and unprofessional, and nearly half say it can border on harassment, according to a survey by SurePayroll Inc.

Eighty percent of respondents believe that even seemingly innocent swearing on the job can be interpreted the wrong way and have negative consequences, according to a SurePayroll news release.

However, 40% admitted to swearing themselves at least occasionally. About 40% reported some of their workers swore at work, and another 5.75% said all of their employees do.

Over 80% of respondents said they believe the amount of swearing in their businesses has nothing to do with the recession, the news release said.

One in 10 of the 225 employers surveyed thought profanity can boost office morale, and a similar number said they actually swear more often at the office than outside it.

Findings from researchers at the University of East Anglia suggest that allowing employees to swear at work may actually have a positive impact, acting as a way to reinforce solidarity among staff and enabling them to express their feelings (see Let Employees Curse at Work, &@*#! ).