- Health, religion, medical appointments and political affiliation are just some items on a long list of things employees hide from their bosses, or lie about, a new SimplyHired study says. The top 10 things employees are hiding or lying about are medical appointments, crying on the job, sleeping on the job, political affiliation, social media, moonlighting during company time, working another part-time job, physical health issues, mental health issues and substance use.
- Women were more likely to hide or lie about crying at work or going to doctor's appointments, SimplyHired found, while men are more likely to hide sleeping at work or using legal or illicit substances during work hours.
- Notably, 84% of gay workers said they chose to keep their orientation secret at work. And while more than four in five heterosexual employees said their LGBTQ coworkers should be free to work without concealing their identity, more than half admitted they'd feel uncomfortable if they heard an LGBTQ coworker talk about their social life on the job.
Employees should feel able to maintain a private life largely separate from work if they wish, but when employees feel they have to hide certain things from their bosses, it can signal workplace culture problems.
Employers that want to create a culture of wellness, for example, should not also have a culture that discourages employees from going to the doctor when necessary. Regular medical appointments are part of preventive care, which can flag health conditions early on before more expensive and invasive care becomes necessary.
And those that seek to create a culture of diverse thought (and, arguably, compliance) should ensure that employees can bring their true selves to work. Choosing to keep one's private life private is one thing; fear of bullying or termination for revealing one's sexual orientation is another. According to a CareerBuilder survey released at the end of last year, 40% of LGBT workers said they had been bullied in the workplace — 11 percentage points higher than all workers. And of those who experienced bullying, 41% said it forced them to leave their jobs.