Working from home has become the new normal as we struggle to adjust in these challenging times of COVID-19. But should companies be concerned about employees engaging in morally-questionable behavior while working remotely?
In February 2020, Warsaw, Poland-based career site Zety asked 1,001 American workers across the industry – including tech workers – if they would compromise their values for professional gains.
It discovered that whilst most workers agreed that certain manoeuvres are unacceptable, many were also guilty of significant transgressions.
The study asked whether they had engaged in unprofessional conduct – or had seen a co-worker doing this. Only one in four (27%) respondents admitted to engaging in an unethical work behaviour.
However, over half (57%) later admitted to engaging in at least one unethical behaviour. Responses showed that two out of three workers would hide an issue (66%), suck up to their boss (65%), or lie to a supervior (59%).
Half would lie about their abilities (53%), snitch on a co-worker (48%), or take credit for something that they had not done (46%).
Almost nine out of ten respondents had caught at least one co-worker engaging in at least one unethical behaviour, with almost three out of five (57%) in a supervisory or managerial role, one out of three (34%) in a senior manager or director role, and one in five (20%) observing the president or CEO doing this.
Almost nine out of ten (89%) believed that lying about a co-worker, unfairly passing blame (87%), or taking unearned credit (86%) is unethical. Seven out of ten (71%) believed that hiding an issue, or snitching on a co-worker (70%) is unethical, several would be prepared to do so for a big reward.
To get a big promotion – or six-figure salary, almost two out of five would hide an issue, one in three (31%) would snitch on a co-worker, and almost one in four (23%) would be intimate with a supervisor for that reward!
Respondents who valued financial success were more likely to believe that unethical behaviour would benefit their careers.
Four out of five respondents (80%) reported benefitting sucking up to their boss, two out of three (64%) benefitted from lying to a supervisor, and half (51%) benefitted from hiding an issue.
Unfortunately, most professionals perceived dishonesty among the upper ranks of their companies, indicated that unethical behavior is often advantageous to their careers.
Perhaps these results make a case for greater transparency among leaders across businesses. If leaders are open and honest about their own errors, other workers may feel more comfortable being honest about their own.
COVID-19 has significantly changed our media habits according to new report
COVID-19 has completely changed our lives as we spend our lockdown time with our mobile devices more and more.
Most consumers admit to sharing passwords with someone outside their home
Although Americans worry about their devices being hacked, most are happy to share their passwords.
Employees crave stricter rules around collaboration app usage
If you are having a love-hate relationship with your collaboration software right now as you try to work from home, you are not alone.
What are the real challenges tech workers face with working remotely?
Fear of the coronavirus is prompting more companies to have their employees work remotely. But what are the real challenges workers face when working from home and trying to communicate with colleagues?