There are certain things you can do when a colleague or employee cries in the office, but people feel differently about its effects on your career. Staffing firm Accountemps released the results of new research showing that a surprising 45% of employees say they’ve cried at work, while 52% say they have gotten visibly angry.
Here’s how people say crying makes you look at work
While 43% of employees in the 55 and up age bracket don’t believe that crying impacts someone’s “reputation,” compared to 31% of people ages 35 to 54, and 25% of those ages 18 to 34.
The research also asked workers and CFOs how they feel about crying in the office. Thirty-two percent of employees and 26% of CFOs agree that “crying is never OK at work — people will perceive you as weak or immature.” Thirty-eight percent of employees and 44% of CFOs think that “crying is OK” here and there, but that “doing it too often can undermine career prospects.”
But some took a more neutral approach: 31% of employees and 30% of CFOs think that “crying has no negative effect — it shows you’re human.”
While high-profile figures like Sheryl Sandberg, Tom Brady, and Steve Jobs have reportedly cried on the job, how things will work out for you, if you do the same, depends on the nature of your specific workplace and circumstances.
Here’s who people are lashing out at on the job
The research found that among the 52% of employees who said they’ve gotten visibly mad at work, 65% “directed” it at a coworker, 37% had done it to a supervisor, 21% have done it to a “customer” and 14% had done it to a “vendor.”
Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, commented on the research:
“We’re all human, and sometimes emotions can get the best of us. … Workplace challenges are inevitable, but how you respond and move forward can demonstrate your professionalism, resilience and emotional intelligence,” Steinitz said. “Thinking before reacting will not only help your professional reputation but also show that you are considerate of your colleagues. Frequent emotional displays can be disruptive to coworkers and ultimately damage your work relationships.”
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