No Joking At Work!

from the it's-all-business-here dept

Just as we were talking about silly studies warning about productivity loss from internet misuse, comes one more study talking about how people (oh no!) send joke emails from their work accounts. This is described, of course, as a misuse of work email. While it may annoy people who really don’t want to receive any “friend spam,” it hardly seems like an issue to be overly concerned with. It’s hard to see how that’s any different than telling a joke around the water cooler — which can help to build a sense of camaraderie and loyalty in the workplace, as well as give a quick break that can make employees more productive. But, rest assured, the company that did the study has a product to stop any such joking around at work. If someone is regularly sending jokes, rather than actually getting their work done, that’s a different issue. But sending an occasional joke to colleagues hardly seems like a reason to rush out and clamp down your email system.

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Comments on “No Joking At Work!”

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RJD says:


Occasional is one of the key words in your statement and ‘your friends’ is the other key portion. Too often jokes are forward to a group of co-workers, not necessarily friends.

Everyone at one time or another is offended by a joke that someone makes .. and we walk away or turn a deaf ear. When someone sends it via email, the company is providing an avenue for these perhaps unwanted jokes to a co-worker, who in our litagous society, now has a viable piece of evidence to sue the company .. UNLESS the company has explicit policies in place prohibiting such actions.

99% of people really don’t care. It’s the 1% who make it miserable for everyone else and as such, companies must protect the 99% from the harm the 1% may try to do.

When in doubt, blame the lawyers.

Doug says:

Re: Re: Occasional

Absolutely…. and make sure you ASK them for permission to send them jokes, with the disclaimer that some of the material may be offensive. (Sometimes, they come to me and ask to be put on the list). Other things you should do is to hide your co-worker’s addresses behind BCC. This helps protect against spam harvesters.

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