Swearing at work ‘can cut stress’

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  • The best way to relieve work stress? The F word

    WE’VE ALL HAD times when we feel like firing off a series of expletives – and researchers today suggest that it can actually reduce stress levels at work.

    A study by Norwich’s University of East Anglia (UEA) in to leadership styles, found the use of ‘taboo language’ boosted team spirit.

    Professor Yehuda Baruch, warned workers not to swear in front of clients or customers, but said that preventing workers from swearing could have a negative impact.

    Speaking to the BBC, he explained: ‘In most scenarios, in particular in the presence of customers or senior staff, profanity must be seriously discouraged or banned.

    ‘However, our study suggested that, in many cases, taboo language serves the needs of people for developing and maintaining solidarity, and as a mechanism to cope with stress. Banning it could backfire.

    ‘Managers need to understand how their staff feel about swearing.’

    He added: ‘The challenge is to master the art of knowing when to turn a blind eye to communication that does not meet with their own standards.’

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