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13 May 2016
Written by Gareth Jones
Most of us have our own superstitions, ranging from the strange to the sensible, and there’s a whole host to choose from. It might be that you’re superstitious about brand new shoes being left on worktops, cautious of black cats crossing your path or believing in the age-old superstition that breaking a mirror can lead to a whopping seven years of bad luck.
As it’s a particularly topical time, with it being Friday 13th, we decided to do a survey to find out just how many Britons believe in superstitions and whether or not they let them affect their work-lives.
We polled 2,185 Britons in full-time office employment about their superstitions, and the first thing we asked them was whether or not they considered themselves to be a superstitious person or not – to which more than half (58%) stated that they were superstitious in some way. According to the results of the survey, not walking under ladders (17%), not opening umbrellas indoors (16%) and not putting new shoes on a table or counter (12%) were the most common ones we abide by here in the UK.
Respondents were then asked if they considered Friday 13th to be an unlucky day, where the majority (65%) admitted that yes they do, compared to just a third (35%) who didn’t.
We further quizzed those who considered Friday 13th to be unlucky, and determined that 21% considered it to be so unlucky they felt it affected their work. When asked how, the top five reasons were shown as:
Those who stated that they won’t go into work on Friday 13th were asked how they managed to avoid the office or workplace for the day. Two fifths (41%) admitted they choose to book the day off work as annual leave, whilst others choose to work from home (39%) or phone in sick so as not to let on that they’re superstitious (20%), to make sure they didn’t get mocked or judged by their colleagues.
Some of us believe in superstitions but for the majority of us, these are fun and normal little quirks that don’t affect our lives. There are others, however, who are incredibly superstitious and it can cause a considerable amount of concern and worry. In more serious circumstances, superstitions can really affect people’s lives and confidence. Although you may consider superstitions to be “irrational”, to some they’re very real.
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