Workplace Ethics : Kolkata tops the chart, Pune-ites love to ‘blow the whistle’

Staffing company,TeamLease carried out a survey (sample size: 401) to understand the work culture scenario in India, and here are a few interesting results:

  • 9.30am – 5.30pm: Recorded Standard Time! – Nearly 45% people don’t bat an eyelid while logging incorrect in / out times. If I’m late, I ain’t telling!
  • Calling “Granny or Aunty” from office is fine! Nearly 46.8% feel using the office line for personal long distance calls is ok.
  • The next time cost goes up, check your expense reports! Around 55.7% workers had no qualms about fudging details here.
  • Nearly 60% people lied unabashed while applying for leave. “Too bad boss wants me at work – I need time off” is the attitude.
  • Promise the earth to the customers … it’ll be too late by the time they find out anyway! This attitude is echoed as 60% responses support this as accepted ethical behavior.
  • Everything’s fair in love ‘n war – and now Business too! Nearly 62% respondents would use any means to get competitor information.
  • Need printouts / photocopy for personal work? Worry not, the office support system is there just for you.Nearly 61% respondents felt it was fine to take printouts and photocopies at office for personal work.
  • Work productivity dipping … Obviously! Around 63% respondents are ok with doing personal work during office hours.
  • Kolkata comes through as a highly integrity & ethic conscious city with an ethics index of 76%. Also, against popular notion, Delhi-ites seem to be quite ethical and straight-forward – or so they say at 53%!
  • Interestingly, among the cities interviews, Kolkata is most sensitive to unethical behavior with an ethics index of 76, vis-à-vis Ahmedabad which came through the most lenient at an ethics index of 21.

Interesting Outcomes

  • Your idea or mine, what’s the difference – says the Boss. Taking credit for subordinate’s ideas is not unethical, says Ahmedabad and Bangalore, while rest of the cities beg to differ with an average score of 42%.
  • “Accident last evening…..sudden fever ….stomach upset….mom not well.”75% of respondents from Bangalore,Hyderabad and Pune (apart from Ahmedabad) accept they lie to take leave, and do not consider it unethical.However, almost 78% of the Kolkata workforce differs on this.
  • Ahmedabadis show an astonishing 74% disagreement that qualifies”Falsifying ‘In time’ and ‘Out time’ in the Attendance register”as unethical.Respondents in Kolkata,Delhi and Hyderabad have recorded a higher integrity quotient in this regard with an average score of 78% consensus.
  • Making personal long distance phone calls discreetly is considered acceptable, except in New Delhi where 51% respondents strongly disagree.
  • Fudging expense report is routine in most cities.Differing from this is Kolkata which records the highest response against such an act.
  • Gossiping in the garb of ‘networking’ is the favourite pass time as nearly 60% respondents love to indulge in it and do not consider it unethical.Topping this list is Ahmedabad, Pune,Bangalore and Hyderabad with an average of around 70%.
  • Nearly 80% respondents from Hyderabad don’t bat an eyelid while taking office stationery home – in agreement with them are Ahmedabad,Bangalore and Pune.
  • Nearly 60% respondents feel it’s acceptable for the boss to show favouritism at workplace.
  • It is heartening to know that96% of the respondents would NOT feel squeamish about directly confronting their colleague if they find their colleague indulging in (what they think is) unethical activity. Ahmedabad is more likely to take the route of speaking to the co-worker’s Supervisor while Kolkata is least likely to adopt this indirect way. Pune is the city which strongly believes in ‘blowing the whistle’ while protecting their identity.
  • One third respondents in Bangalore,Delhi andHyderabadare unaware of their company’s Ethical Policy! [via]

While there is no single solution to check ethical behavior, most respondents agreed that Leaders should ‘Walk the talk’ – the highest nods received in Hyderabad and Kolkata. Respondents in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai felt that having open lines of communication would help decrease unethical behavior at the workplace, while Delhi and Ahmedabad respondents feel having flexible work schedules would reduce unethical behavior.

What’s your opinion?

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