A Take On Tattoos At Work

Tattoos have become more common in the workplace, especially with employees between the ages of 18-29. According to a study, published in an article from the Salary.com editors, tattoos effect productivity in several different ways. What kind of policy does your organization have about tattoos?

The study comes from the Pew Research Center, and found that 40% of the young adults in that age bracket have a tattoo. It surveyed 2,675 people who weighed in on how tattoos and piercings in the workplace effect everything from promotions to performance evaluations. The results of the survey might not be what you think:

The biggest takeaways from our survey include a whopping 76% of respondents feel tattoos and piercings hurt an applicant’s chances of being hired during a job interview. And more than one-third – 39% of those surveyed – believe employees with tattoos and piercings reflect poorly on their employers.

What does age have to do with it? It’s a big part of the picture, actually – more young employees have tattoos than their older counterparts. And it’s the older generation that finds them more inappropriate. It’s also worth noting that those with higher education levels tend to be less likely to have a tattoo. In fact, only 3% of PhD recipients have any tattoos at all.

Other areas of the study include Gender, Marital Status and Location – did you know that a single or divorced lady is most likely to have a tattoo? And The West South Central portion of the country, (OK, TX, AR, LA) is 55% sure tattoos are inappropriate.

What industry boasts the highest rate of inked employees? Agriculture and ranching employees have the most tattoos, followed closely by those working in the hospitality, tourism and recreation fields.

What kind of influence does this have on children?

Nearly half – 49% of all respondents – said they don’t want their children (or future hypothetical children for survey-takers who plan to have kids) to have tattoos or piercings. 70% of people age 60 and older don’t want body art for their kids, which tops the list.

The best way to deal with tattoos is the way that works best for your organization. Create a tattoo policy that aligns with your company culture. You’re looking for an employee that is a good fit for the organization – tattoo or not. To read more about the study’s findings, click here for the full article.

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