DC professionals are least likely to say work has gotten more competitive. There’s a reason

Just 24% of D.C. professionals surveyed by Robert Half think things are more competitive now. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/jacoblund)

Remote working has made many professionals feel like work-related competition with coworkers is more competitive now than it was a year ago. But, despite D.C.’s cutthroat reputation, professionals here are least likely to say so.

A recent survey by staffing firm Robert Half found just 24% of D.C. professionals surveyed think things are more competitive now, ranking D.C. at the bottom of the list.

But there’s an obvious reason.

“It isn’t that surprising. We are a competitive area and that has always been the case. But there just isn’t that much room to increase the percentage when you are already up at the top,” said Beth Sears at Robert Half’s D.C. office.

Employee competition can always be a good thing. But in the world of remote working, it can also become detrimental.

“Workers may feel more pressure to prove themselves in the current environment, but it should not come at the expense of others and even themselves,” Sears said.

“Negative behavior, such as failure to communicate or taking credit for others’ work, are signs that competition may have gotten way out of hand.”

More professionals 40 years old and younger feel their workplace has become more competitive. Men are more likely than women to say so, and respondents with children were more likely to feel competition has increased than those without children, 37% versus 18%.

Robert Half offers tips for encouraging healthy competition among employees dispersed and working at home, including virtual challenges, video calls to recognize team and individual achievements, and even arranging for lunches to be delivered to employees’ homes.

Robert Half conducted its survey from July 7 through July 30, and included 2,800 professionals employed in office environments in 28 major cities.

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