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Six in 10 employees in India are okay with crying at work

Professionals believe expressing emotions at work can boost staff morale, says a new LinkedIn survey 

One third of employees have broken down in front of their boss more than once since the pandemic. 
One third of employees have broken down in front of their boss more than once since the pandemic.  (iStock)

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There was a time when showing emotions at work was considered a sign of weakness and unprofessional. Not anymore. 

About two-thirds (63%) of working professionals had cried in front of their boss, while a third (32%) had shed tears more than once since the pandemic began. And 87% employees felt exhibiting one’s emotions instead of bottling them up may improve staff morale in hybrid workspace. These are the findings of a nationwide survey conducted in May by professional networking platform LinkedIn, which included 2,200 participants. 

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A large number of professionals (76%) were comfortable displaying their emotions at work. In fact, people are normalizing such behaviour by talking about it in the platform, which has witnessed a 28% increase in such conversations.  

The employees, however, were also cognizant of the age-old perception regarding the “stigma around sharing feelings at work”, the survey stated. Looking weak, unprofessional and colleagues judging them were some of the concerns that 70% of the professionals voiced. There was also an unconscious gender bias against women at play, with nearly 80% participants admitting that women were judged more than men when they showed their emotions at work.  

This new wave of openly displaying vulnerability has mostly been shown by Gen Z (73%) and millennial (79%) professionals. Among the boomers, only 20% were comfortable wearing their heart on their sleeves in the office. Interestingly, work flexibility has helped the young employees to share more with their colleagues.

“The past two years have been tumultuous to say the least but have also made people realise that they can be more vulnerable and candid with each other at work,” said Ashutosh Gupta, India country manager, LinkedIn.

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Leading the way with humour

Humour has been found to be an effective way to cope with stress. And Indians professionals seem to have taken it to heart. According to the survey, Indian al Italian employees lead the way in being the funniest co-workers in the world. Australian employees were at the bottom of this list.  

More than a third (38%) of Indian employees told a joke at least once a day, and in that professionals in south India seem to have a strong funny bone, with 43% indulging in telling a joke at least once a day. However, it also drew mixed feeling from employees. While two-thirds of the employees felt it improved the office culture, over half of the people felt it was unprofessional behaviour. Yet, overwhelming majority (90%) admitted that humour was “the most underused and undervalued emotion at work”. 

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