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Office cliques: Is your workplace like high school 2.0?

by AirTalk®

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A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 43 percent of workers say their office is full of high school-like cliques. Victor1558/Flickr

There are people trying to fit in, those who never will, gossiping in the halls and lonely lunch breaks. Sounds like high school right? For some, it’s just another day at the office.

This, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder, which claims that 43 percent of workers say their offices are populated by cliques just like you’d find in a typical American high school.

The nationwide survey, put out by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder, asserts that cliques impact office culture in various ways. 20 percent of the 3,000 private workers polled, said they’ve done something they weren’t really interested in or didn’t want to do just to fit in with co-workers. 21 percent reported having watched a TV show or movie just to talk about it at work the next day and 19 percent admitted to having made fun of someone else or pretended not to like them.

The survey is by no means serious science, but for some, office cliques can be serious business. What’s the vibe at your workplace? Are you your authentic self or do you behave differently in order to get ahead? Does the “in crowd” still rule the world? Can refusing to participate in office politics be bad for one’s career?


David Couper, Executive Coach and Consultant on Human Resources

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