If you catch your twentysomething employee or co-worker saying “s—” or dropping the f-bomb at work, don’t worry: It’s normal.
At least that’s according to a recent study of over 1,500 Americans conducted by the work management platform Wrike. The study found that 66% of millennials surveyed admitted to swearing at work, while only 54% of baby boomers said they swear while on the clock.
As for what’s the reason behind all the swearing, the study found a few different explanations: For starters, almost half (45%) of millennials surveyed said that using profanity at work “doesn’t matter,” while others said it makes conveying ideas and feelings easier. Some felt swearing reflects passion for their work, while others said it strengthens relationships among team members.
By comparison, 45% of baby boomers said that swearing in the workplace “is too casual and feels unprofessional.”
A whopping 80% of millennials said they were more likely to swear if their boss does, where only 61% of baby boomers could say the same. This factor alone might be the biggest reason millennials use profanity at work, according to the study.
Millennial women are slightly more guilty of having a potty mouth in the work place than millennial men, according to the study. Sixty-seven percent of women admitted to swearing at work, compared with 66% of men. But men who do use profanity at the office do it at a greater frequency than women, the study noted.
Millennial women are also less bothered by profanity at work than millennial men. But ironically, nearly half of millennial men were more likely to prefer a working environment where swearing is a part of the culture, where only 40% of millennial women said they would prefer profanity at work.