Gabriel Dillard

published on December 6, 2019 - 1:05 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Have you ever wanted to fine a work colleague for behaving badly?

Like anyone else, I’ve thought about wanting to do exact retribution on coworkers (I’m sure the feeling is mutual), but levying a fine never crossed my mind until I got an email from London-based commercial real estate brokerage Savoy Stewart.

Riffing off of a new fine system established for English soccer club Chelsea F.C., the blokes at Savoy Stewart surveyed 1,566 American office workers to find out which unprofessional actions they would fine their colleagues for, and how much those fines would be.

The results are interesting.

The most fineable offense, with 79% of those surveyed agreeing it should warrant a fine, was “not meeting an agreed/set deadline.” The average fine set for that offense would be $28.

That one would pick my wallet clean, for sure.

“Unnecessarily being rude/offensive” came in second with 72% in agreement on its fine-ability, with an average penalty of $24.

Next up was flaking on a scheduled/arranged meeting, with 66% in agreement and an average fine of $20.

From there, the margin in agreement plus the fines start to shrink a little:

Making/taking multiple personal phone calls during working hours



Showing up more than 5 minutes late to a meeting



Taking a longer lunch break than allocated



Showing up more than 5 minutes late to work



Dressing inappropriately/sloppily



Agreeing to come to a work social but then not turning up at all



Personal phone ringing during a meeting



Savoy Stewart also asked how the fines should be spent, with the most — 32% — saying the money should be put toward improving the office environment with better furniture, new equipment, etc. Another 20% said it should be donated to charity and 17% saying it should go toward a big work party.

Interestingly — and proving that in America, sticks usually win over carrots — only 5% thought the money should be given to a top performer of the month in a department or company.

Overall, 65% of American office workers think a fair fine structure in the workplace will make everyone much more accountable for their actions.

What do you think?

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