With millennial employees now ascendant in workplaces across the land, managers are grappling with how to hire, retain and engage them. In our new continuing series, Anna Fitzpatrick answers our burning questions about how to approach this exotic species of office fauna.

Photo: Roberto CarusoPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Every third word out of kids’ mouths these days is an eff or an ess. That’s not appropriate workplace talk! Why do you swear so much?

I’d like to pretend this question doesn’t apply to me, but the truth is that I’m one of the two-thirds of millennials who curse at work, according to a recent survey by software vendor Wrike. (In my defence, I usually save my really creative stuff for stubbed toes and spilled coffee.)

Though the study linked the use of salty language to a certain level of comfort in the workplace, swearing can definitely be a problem if you’re going for professionalism—especially in public-facing jobs. My friend PJ Vogt co-hosts a podcast called Reply All, where his frequent swearing has been caught on record. He told me it took someone else drawing attention to the problem for him to temper his language. “My bosses were worried cursing would be a profound turnoff to our audience,” he says. “Now I try to be more thoughtful.”

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