43% feign interest in a boss’s dumb story in hopes of promotion

Unwritten rules pervade the American workplace as workers engage in a variety of off-the-books behaviors unrelated to performance in hopes of a promotion.

Photo: Getty Images

The modern American workplace is full of unwritten rules that cause employee stress, found a survey by Bridge, a talent-management platform for businesses. The survey of 1,000 office employees was carried out by Qualtrics, and asked employees about their work habits, culture, and overall engagement.

Working longer hours, schmoozing, and yukking it up with the boss: this collection of invisible rules was believed to be at least moderately important in getting a promotion.

  • 78% believed working more hours is at least “moderately important” in being promoted.
  • 53% believed that playing workplace politics was moderately important in being promoted.
  • 50% believed that socializing outside work was a factor in being promoted
  • 43% believed that feigning interested in their “boss’s dumb story” was at moderately important in being promoted
Interestingly, some prominent people in the news who have already worked longer hours and made their way to the top have mixed experiences with working ’round the clock now that they’ve made it.
This week, Tesla founder Elon Musk boasted about working 120 hours a week during crunch time.  He has in the past derided the 40-hour workweek. However, his 120-hour spree was mostly motivated by failure, as Tesla “running out of money” at the time.
And Kai-Fu Lee, a Silicon Vally wunderkind – former Apple employee and former president of Google China – said his epic workaholism ended when he was diagnosed with cancer, reported Quartz at Work. Now in remission, he regrets his years of overwork.

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.