Imitation Isn’t Flattery: Plagiarism in The Workplace Explained

Many people consider imitation a sincere form of flattery, but it can feel criminal. Plagiarism is presenting another persons work as your own, with or without the original authors consent, by adding it into your content without acknowledging the source. Thankfully cloud-based typing assistant Grammarly has a free plagiarism checker.

Sadly co-workers like to blur the lines between collaborating and copying. When you fail to uphold the principles of your workspace by copying the work of another colleague, you become known as somebody who cuts professional corners due to your lack of skill and initiative.

The global definition of plagiarism applies to all published and unpublished content, whether in printed or electronic form. It only takes one bad apple to negatively impact your mental health. Many people admit to working with a toxic colleague.

There are many signs of plagiarism, however the most common signs include:

  • Copying ideas from another person without giving credit or acknowledgment
  • Attempting to mislead an authoritative figure by handing in another persons work
  • Copying the structure of a sentence, while changing it slightly, without giving credit

Plagiarism can be extremely damaging to the reputation of an organisation or brand, especially if the individual who copied the content in question is known to be unskilled or unreliable. If you create content on a regular basis, don’t take the easy way out and simply copy another persons work and pass it off as your own when you don’t have the skills to compete.

The idea of plagiarism gets more complicated than just copying your colleague when it involves costing said individual an opportunity or pay rise. This level of desperation could result in a loss of earnings or even the collapse of a writers reputation.

Many visitors write to our experts and ask if plagiarism and copyright infringement are the same thing. The short answer is no. Plagiarism is, however, considered a violation of honour or ethics and can result in disciplinary action from an authoritative figure in your school or workplace.

In short, we would like to encourage our readers to have sound judgement, honesty, dependability and loyalty in the workplace. What is done in the dark will come to light.


In the dynamic world of the workplace, distinguishing between imitation and plagiarism is crucial. Plagiarism not only violates ethical principles but also has severe consequences for individuals and organisations alike. By fostering a culture of originality, proper attribution, and respect for intellectual property, we can ensure that imitation is not seen as flattery but as an opportunity for growth and innovation in the modern workplace. Remember, in the quest for success, there’s no substitute for authenticity and integrity.