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Office workers prefer lying by e-mail

A new research has shown that workers do not like lying to colleagues face-to-face and prefer the anonymity of the phone or e-mail.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 18:31 IST

A new research has shown that workers do not like lying to colleagues face-to-face and prefer the anonymity of the phone or e-mail.

The researchers studied office conversations pattern of a particular firm, and found that workers used phone calls and emails to deceive.

When trying to get out of a tricky situation, be it with their boss, a colleague, or a client, workers tended to resort to email first, followed by phone calls.

Withholding or distorting information and changing the subject of e-mails to confuse colleagues are among the most frequent tricks.

The study found that while email was the most popular method for lying, workers hesitated to use it for telling outright lies, perhaps because they did not want a written record of their deception.

The research carried out by University of Central Lancashire researchers Dr Sandi Mann and Wincy Shek, also found that it was harder to lie to friends than enemies.

"This study suggests that deception occurs frequently in everyday workplace communications. Some types of deception occur more frequently than others and managers and employees should be on their guard for these. Not only does deception occur less frequently in face to face interactions, but also when people are communicating with those they felt closer to. If you want the truth, arrange for a face to face meeting, rather than communicating by email." The Daily Mail quoted Mann, as saying.
 
Though the study did not examine the reason the lying habit of workers, ir revealed that lies were to impress colleagues.

"It could be you are throwing a sickie, or have done something wrong or want to look better than a colleague - a lot of it is about creating a good impression. It also seems that the more competitive the environment, the more likely people are to tell lies," said  Mann.

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