Bad behaviors have increased in the workplace, says new U of G study
New research out of the University of Guelph suggests anxiety about the pandemic has led to unethical behaviours in the workplace.
It shows workers are becoming more self-interested.
"About 90% of companies have actually indicated they have increased ethical issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Laurie Barclay, a business and economics professor at the University of Guelph. "In the context of a pandemic, we can't escape, so we're doing things to try and protect ourselves."
Those unethical acts, the study suggests, are happening both in the workplace and in remote offices.
They could include everything from falsifying customer records, to adjusting the number of hours worked or completed tasks.
"People ignoring client calls," one resident told CTV News. "Full blown pretending they're not there. I'm probably on better behavior when I'm at work and there's people around."
"People clocking out at two [p.m.]," said one woman. "Not working a full eight hours. Drinking is a big thing, with wine in the mug. I can even attest that I was in a meeting and had wine in my clear glass and not realizing it. But, you know, it happens."
The study also shows that some behaviours aren't without consequences.
"Even if it looks really minor on the small scale, they actually have really important implications for the financial bottom line," said Dr. Barclay.
Some people that CTV News spoke to argued that part of the responsibility lies with the companies themselves.
"We know that there are flexible policies that can be put in place, but employers in general just seem not too keen to continue those," said one resident.
"Organizations who help their employees see [that] their work is meaningful for others can actually curtail these effects," explained Dr. Barclay.