Study: Workplace Rudeness Is Infectious

workplace rudeness study

University of Florida researchers had 90 grad students workshop negotiation tactics with classmates. Each student worked with multiple partners over the course of seven weeks and found that rudeness spread unconsciously and without impediment. In other words, one bad apple can spoil the entire goddamn bunch. Snide remarks, purposely leaving people out, or simply being a dick made it more likely that the person you were dickish to would pay it forward. It’s like the movie Fallen with Denzel Washington, where the horrible spirit of Azazel gets transmitted through touch. Except the horrible spirit at work isn’t that of a murderer (well, depending on where you work, we suppose) — it’s a rudeness that creates a hellish work environment.

Avoiding rudeness at work is impossible because the world is full of jerks. For example, our HR department is filled with sour pusses that have no idea how to have a good time. However, and coincidently, by writing that we’ve proved the study’s findings to be correct. We recalled a few years ago when all three HR people admitted to not reading Modern Man because “it didn’t speak to them.” It made us happy in one sense because our site isn’t meant for stuffed shirts, but it pissed us off because they should have lied. They did not, and, therefore, they are rude a-holes. Yeah, we know …


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