The study, which surveyed over 2,000 UK professionals, reveals that those aged 18-24 were most likely to slip up (42.6%), followed by under 18s (38.7%). Alongside this, only 45.3% of Brits have actually been successful when trying to cover up their mistakes.
The study went on to ask Brits about their most embarrassing moments at work, with the top ten including:
- Tripping over in front of the whole office – 22.4%
- Sending a negative email to the wrong person – 16.7%
- Getting too drunk at a work party – 15.7%
- Leaving a smell in the bathroom – 14.6%
- Getting caught bad-mouthing a colleague – 11.7%
- Accidentally saying ‘love you, bye’ on a work call – 9.6%
- Congratulating someone on being pregnant when they weren’t - 8.5%
- Hooking up with a co-worker and everyone finding out – 7.8%
- Farting in front of the office – 7.5%
- Having food stuck in your teeth all day – 7.1%
Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments:
“It’s not ideal to have your employees make mistakes, especially if they’re embarrassing and could have otherwise been avoided. Make sure you educate your teams on what is acceptable at work and why honesty is the best policy.
“After all, you need to build trust with your employees. While mistakes happen, you don’t want them to feel like they can’t talk to you about it; regardless of how embarrassing the situation is. Let them know that you can work together to come to a solution.”
Interestingly, just over one in 10 (12.6%) Brits said their embarrassing moment had implications on their career. This includes feeling uncomfortable and awkward at work (50%), believing their professional reputation was damaged (30.6%) and receiving a disciplinary from their boss (19.4%).
“While disciplining your staff for their embarrassing mistake may seem like rubbing salt in the wounds, in some cases it is completely necessary. If you’re not sure what to do, check with HR on your policy. In the current market, where it’s difficult to hire, you’ll want to do your best to retain top employees; regardless of whether they make mistakes or not!”
CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites and attracts over 4.3 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent online job board with a database of over 14 million CVs.