Most common workplace lies

Sift Media
Share this content

According to our sister site,, a recent study into honesty at work showed that surprising numbers of us frequently tell porkies in the office, which begs the question - how honest are your staff?

Statistics vary when it comes to how much businesses lose annually as a result of employee dishonesty, but employee theft, creative timesheet-shifting, and misuse of company property/resources can present problems for firms.

A recent online study by Canadian HR testers found that 30% of employees had lied to get out of trouble at work, and 49% of people knew colleagues who were consistently and purposely unproductive - taking longer than permitted breaks, leaving early, and intentionally working slowly to reduce the amount of work expected from them.

Despite being aware of colleagues' misdemeanours, the majority were torn when it came to reporting it. When asked what they would do if their co-worker admitted to stealing a large amount of money from the company's petty cash, 37% stated that they would tell their employer, 41% would encourage their colleague to confess, and 6% would lie to their boss about the source of the missing cash, and cover for their friend.

Not all the fibs were whoppers though - white lies were the most popular among those tested, with 73% saying they would bend the truth to protect the feelings of someone they care about.

The most common lies

After a highly unscientific study conducted among friends and colleagues, here's our list of the five most common workplace lies. Feel free to add your own by posting comments below.

1. "Sorry I'm late... my alarm clock didn't go off." (Translation: "I was on the razz last night and got battered. I don't actually remember my name yet, let alone what my job is.")

2. "I didn't get your e-mail, are you sure you sent it to the right address?" (Translation: "Who the hell are you?")

3. "Yes, I feel comfortable taking on this project." (Translation: "I have no idea what it's about at all but I want to look clever.")

4. "I can't come in today, I'm sick." (Translation: "I've got something far better to do than make yet more money for you today... sucker!")

5. "That piece of work is pretty much done; I just have to finish off a few bits..." (Translation: "I haven't even started yet. DON'T PANIC!")

What the worst workplace lie you've heard? Share your shame below!

About admin


Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.