Survey: Co-worker Competitiveness Has Increased in Last Decade

Menlo Park, Calif. — July 19

As athletes from around the world prepare to compete in London, workplaces in the U.S. appear to be hosting competitions of their own, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests.

Nearly half (49 percent) of senior managers interviewed said they believe employees are more competitive with each other today than they were 10 years ago. These results mirror those from a similar survey of senior executives conducted in 2008.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the placement of administrative professionals, and was conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

OfficeTeam identifies five types of workplace “competitors” who take it too far:

The Pole Vaulter. This person jumps to nab all of the high-profile assignments, leaving the less visible work to everyone else. To get the plum projects, proactively make your interests known. Volunteer for key assignments and acquire hard-to-find skills that make you indispensable.

The Boxer. This worker has a jab for everyone — whether it’s a snide remark during a staff meeting or a sarcastic email. Don’t succumb to this person’s negativity. Remain professional when interacting with him or her and try to work out your differences.

The Sprinter. This person tries to curry favor by working quickly — even if the results are sloppy. Don’t cut corners to compete with this individual. Instead, become known for delivering quality work.

The Gymnast. This employee bends and twists the facts, sometimes taking credit for others’ work. When collaborating with this colleague, be sure to share your original ideas and contributions with your manager.

The Marathoner. This person can go the full distance when it comes to spending time at the water cooler, sharing rumors with anyone who will listen. Although it can be useful to have a sense of the political undercurrents in your firm, avoid associating closely with office gossips and don’t share sensitive information with them.

Source: OfficeTeam