Check your inbox. Psychologists say the most popular way to tell a lie at work is using e-mail. That’s because lies are easiest to detect during a face-to-face conversation. Here’s the scoop from the London Daily Mail. Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire studied office communication. And they found that when an employee wants to get out of a tricky situation with a boss or coworker, they’re most likely to resort to e-mail – and least likely to do it in person. That’s because most people find it difficult to lie when speaking directly to someone, usually because they’re afraid they’ll give themselves away through their body language or tone of voice.
But workers use e-mail to be deceptive in a specific way - usually to withhold information or when they need to be vague about details. Workers don’t usually tell outright lies in emails, because then there’s a written record of it. For example, let’s say a worker wants to leave early to get their hair done. They might say “I have an appointment on Thursday so I’ll need to leave early”. Leaving it vague, the boss would probably assume they had a doctor’s appointment. But if they told an outright, specific lie like, “I have to leave early to pick up my husband because he’s getting a root canal.”. They could get busted if someone talks to the husband and finds out there was no root canal.
So what’s the motivation for all this lying? The researchers figure that most of it’s designed to impress others at the office. And the more competitive the environment, the more likely people are to tell lies. So, if you want to know whether an employee is being truthful about something they’ve said in an email, clarify things with them in person. You’ll be better able to detect if you’re being taken for a ride.