These Are the Lies People Tell Most Often at Work

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The two most common white lies people tell at their jobs are apparently “I’m sick/not feeling well” and “I already have plans after work.” Some 60% of respondents to a recent survey say they’ve told both of those. Here’s the big difference, though: Only 28% think the first lie is harmless, while 54% think there’s no harm in telling the second one.

That’s according to a study of 1,000 full-time salaried employees conducted by the job recruitment site Simply Hired.

The less satisfied people are at work, according to the survey, the more likely they are to fib — and 41% of those polled claimed to be dissatisfied with their jobs and to tell at least one white lie a week.

Besides the top two, other frequently told untruths include “There was traffic on my way in,” “I’m working on it right now,” and “I can’t come in because I have an appointment.” Further down the list are such fibs as “You look good today,” “Yes, I am happy with my salary,” and “That was my idea.”

In addition, 65% of women and 62% of men say they think fibbing is acceptable in order to avoid hurting a co-worker’s feelings; 44% of women and 42% of men think it’s okay if you need to attend a job interview; and 28% of women and 29% of men believe it’s justified as a way to take a day off without using vacation or sick days.

It’s worth noting that in some lines of work, there are no vacation or sick days. These are the industries with the best (and worst) benefits.

Other findings of the report: Managers lie more often than entry- or associate-level employees; most lies get told on Mondays and Fridays; and the industries whose employees lie the most often are the hotel, food services, and hospitality trade; technology; and transportation and warehousing.

Perhaps counterintuitively, of the 14 categories measured, the industry with the lowest rate of lying was marketing and advertising. While employees’ job satisfaction can largely depend on their particular employer, certain career fields tend to report higher salaries and lower levels of stress — these are the best jobs in America.