Being passive-aggressive at work would include attitudes that were so negative they held back personal productivity or interfered with others at work.
In an on-going survey conducted by Gallup, only 30 percent of workers indicated they were "engaged" in their work, a report released Tuesday said.
The category of "engaged" would include workers who could be described as committed or enthusiastic about their jobs.
The largest group, about 50 percent of the workforce or 50 million workers, were "not engaged," the survey results indicated.
In the last of three groupings, the survey found about 20 million workers were "actively disengaged," and those included workers with an attitude so poor that it disrupted productivity.
"The general consciousness about the importance of employee engagement seems to have increased in the past decade. But there is a gap between knowing about engagement and doing something about it in most American workplaces," said Gallup researcher Jim Harter, who is co-author of "Well Being: The Five Essential Elements."
Gallup's report said age and level of education were both factors in worker attitudes. Millennials and baby boomers and those with college degrees were the most likely groups to be actively disengaged at work, the report said.
Over the past 12 years, the numbers have remained fairly consistent. The highest percentage of workers engaged in their jobs has been 30 percent, while the lowest in a dozen years was 26 percent -- which occurred in 2000.
Over the same 12 years, the highest percentage of those actively disengaged was 20 percent in 2007 and 2008, while the lowest percentage was 15 percent in 2005 and 2006.