Bullying falls with rise of work from home

But many employees still facing harassment, quitting their job to escape: Survey

Bullying falls with rise of work from home
Many workers wait years to report bullying at work, finds a survey.

More than half (54 per cent) of employees say that the switch to telecommuting has improved their experience against bullies, finds a new survey from MyPerfectResume.

However, another 32 per cent say nothing has changed while 14 per cent say things have deteriorated.

“As expected, remote work has lowered the amount of bullying in the workplace… After all, having the benefit of not sharing a physical space with a bully is hard to underestimate,” says Max Woolf, job search expert and a career advice writer at MyPerfectResume. “But WFH [work from home] doesn't always solve the problem, especially since most companies still plan to return onsite eventually.”

Overall, two-thirds (66 per cent) of American workers have personally been a victim of bullying at work, and 47 per cent have quit their job because of it.

A coworker (54 per cent) is the most common bully in the workplace, ahead of direct managers (33 per cent) or external managers (eight per cent). Six per cent report being bullied by other employees.

In late 2019, the RCMP was facing a big challenge to eradicate a workplace culture that had fostered bullying and harassment for a long time‚Äč.

Types of bullying
The most common types of bullying experienced in the workplace are:

  • being picked on or regularly undermined (60 per cent)
  • being a victim of malicious rumour (30 per cent)
  • having someone interfere with your work (29 per cent)
  • receiving aggressive texts, emails or phone calls (23 per cent)
  • having your work sabotaged (12 per cent)

More than half (51 per cent) of people report incidents of bullying but 49 per cent choose not to. And even when they do report a workplace bully, workers tend to wait a long time before taking action, finds the MyPerfectResume survey of 1,024 U.S. workers.

While 44 per cent can tolerate a bully for one year or less, many take two (28 per cent), three (15 per cent), four (four per cent) or five or more (nine per cent) years before reporting the issue.

Most often they talk to their own boss (24 per cent), followed by a senior manager (20 per cent) and HR (16 per cent).

Employers’ duty
The bad news? While many say the bully was reprimanded in some way (48 per cent) or fired (28 per cent), 25 per cent say nothing changed.

“Employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their workers. This includes an obligation to keep employees safe from bullying and harassment in the workplace,” says Colin Gibson, managing partner at Harris & Company in Vancouver.

Employers should take note, as the adverse effects of bullying for workers include:

  • high stress levels (46 per cent)
  • deteriorated performance (25 per cent)
  • inability to concentrate (21 per cent)
  • Incapacity to make decisions (20 per cent)

Canadian HR Reporter recently talked to an employment lawyer about how best to handle bullying and harassment while on the job.

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