Research perspectives

Employees admit to lying at work

A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of employment website Glassdoor reported that 49 per cent of UK employees have admitted to lying at work.

The poll, which was conducted in June 2020 with a sample size of over 1,000 workers, found that nearly half of those who lied did so to avoid getting into trouble, while over a third lied to hide mistakes.

Many employees lied to avoid “standing out” in the office, while two in five said it was “easier to agree with the majority”. Nearly a quarter believed their boss or colleagues would not “like to hear diverse opinions” and close to a fifth said they did not like giving honest feedback to colleagues.

Three-quarters of respondents believed saying what they really thought would get them into trouble, while 22 per cent of employees thought lying at work was acceptable, alongside a further 39 per cent who felt it was common in their respective workplaces.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development commented on the findings, encouraging employers to combat such behaviours by being clear on what practices are acceptable while also holding workers to account. They report employees would more likely behave unethically if set unrealistic goals and work pressures.