Exactly How Common Do You Think Workplace Bullying Is?


Do you think workplace bullying is an anomaly or fairly common? According to recent research from staffing firm OfficeTeam, 35% of workers surveyed admitted they’ve had an office bully.

When workers were asked how they responded to a bully:

  • 32% said they confronted the person
  • 27% told their manager
  • 13% quit their jobs
  • 17% did nothing
  • 11% took other action.

And when HR managers were asked, “How often do you think office bullying takes place at your company?”:

  • 6% said very often
  • 21% said somewhat often
  • 35% said not very often
  • 38% said never.

Similar research also found that workplace bullying is fairly common in Canada, too.

So what should you do if you’re the victim of a bully in your workplace? Here are five tips:

  1. Take a stand. Avoid being an easy target. Bullies often back off if you show confidence and stick up for yourself.
  2. Talk it out. Have a one-on-one discussion with the bully, providing examples of behaviours that made you feel uncomfortable. It’s possible the person is unaware of how his or her actions are negatively affecting others.
  3. Keep your cool. Don’t stoop to the bully’s level. Stay calm and professional.
  4. Document poor conduct. Maintain a record of instances of workplace bullying, detailing what was said or done by the individual.
  5. Seek support. If the issue is serious or you aren’t able to resolve it on your own, alert your supervisor, manager or HR department for assistance.

The OHS Insider has a lot of information, tools and resources on workplace bullying, such as: