Fri, May 20, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Majority of workers believe antisocial habits help career

GETTING AHEAD:One marketing manager said that if people employ ‘gray skills’ properly they can be important tools in securing workplace advancement

Staff Writer, with CNA

More than 80 percent of Taiwan’s workers believe that habits such as drinking and gossiping help them to climb the corporate ladder, according to a recent survey.

The survey on workers’ habits — so-called “gray skills” — conducted by the Taipei-based 360d Human Resources Consultancy Co showed that 79 percent of respondents said they possessed such “skills.”

Among the respondents, 63 percent said they drink and 38 percent said they gossip.

The consultancy defined “gray skills” as the ability to gossip, play cards, chew betel nut, smoke, brown-nose and drink.

Most office workers believe these habits are particularly helpful in “negotiating business deals with clients” and in “closing the gap between bosses and workers.”

When asked if they think these habits — considered antisocial in some quarters — are helpful to them in their job prospects, 81 percent replied positively.

Asked if they worry that not possessing these “skills” could influence the progress they make in the workplace, 72 percent indicated that this was something they worry about.

Meanwhile, about 78 percent of respondents said they would try to hone such skills.

When asked about how the companies they work for stand on the issue, 84 percent of the respondents said firms neither encourage nor discourage employees from developing such habits.

However, around 70 percent of respondents said that their supervisors or colleagues tended to take the initiative in teaching them such “skills.”

Su Yen-chien (蘇晏健), an assistant marketing manager at the consultant company, said professional skills still count for a great deal in terms of workplace success. However, if people are able to employ “gray skills” wisely, they can be important tools in enhancing workplace progress, he added.

The firm conducted a nationwide survey of employees aged 25 to 45 years of age, 60 percent of whom were female, and obtained a total of 1,114 valid responses.

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