Swearing like a sailor may not be the most refined habit, but it appears to be standard practice in lots of workplaces—especially ones where young women work. 67 percent of millennial women and 66 percent of millennial men admitted to swearing at work, according to a recent survey by the work management platform Wrike. (OK, so let’s just call it millennials in general, alright?)
While hilarious, I can’t say that the findings surprised me. I work in an office of women in this age group, and we definitely drop F-bombs and swears of all kinds on a daily basis. (Sorry, Mom!) According to the study, which looked at the habits of 1,500 Americans, only 54 percent of baby boomers swear at the office.
As for the reasons behind the cursing—yep, this study went deep—45 percent of millennials said it “doesn’t make a difference to them” (in other words, they DGAF); 39 percent said it makes conveying ideas and feelings easier (I hear you, but perhaps we all need to expand our vocabs a bit if that’s a major motivator); 36 percent said it reflects the passion their team has for their work (just: LOLOL); and 34 percent said it strengthens their relationships with other team members (huh?).
For their part, older generations aren’t having it, and don’t find millennial potty mouths amusing: 45 percent of Gen X and baby boomers say swearing is too casual and feels unprofessional; 43 percent said it causes awkward moments; and 32 percent say it contributes to a negative culture. Oops.
Intriguingly, even though millennial women and men only differ by a single percentage point when it comes to swearing frequency, they differ a bit more on other swear-related habits: Women, it seems, are cooler in general with foul-mouthed language at work: 27 percent of millennial men are bothered by cursing, as compared to just 18 percent of women; and 22 percent of men might file a complaint about swearing, compared to only 15 percent of women. What in hell could be at the root of these mysterious differences? Fuck if I know.