New research shows that company directors are ten times more likely to find politically correct jokes acceptable in the office than they did ten years ago.In 1999 only 1 per cent of respondents found politically correct jokes acceptable in internal office meetings. Today the figure has increased to nearly 70 per cent.
Another shift has taken place in the differentiation between offensive and inoffensive jokes. In the earlier survey 64 per cent of directors thought politically incorrect jokes were acceptable in informal conversations with colleagues, if funny. Today, as a result of tighter employment legislation, the proportion has dropped to 47 per cent.
Mild swear words in internal meetings were deemed unacceptable by all respondents ten years ago. Today half of directors have no problem with them. Nearly 20 per cent even accept strong swearing in the office.
Increasingly slang has become acceptable too. Some 64 per cent of directors find the use of slang appropriate, even in internal meetings. Innit.
Khalid Aziz, Chairman of The Aziz Corporation comments: “British business has been stereotyped for its formality but this survey demonstrates a dramatic change.
“I suspect this process has accelerated during the recession when people are desperate for anything that will raise their spirits. Britain has a long standing tradition of gallows humour and that may also be a factor; what’s the difference between a banker and pigeon” A pigeon can still make a deposit on a Porsche!"