There’s an epidemic going around the office. It’s DESK RAGE! Fifty-one percent of all workers say they’ve experienced it. The average worker has angry “desk rage” outbursts at least twice a day with people citing Monday afternoon as most frequent time it strikes.
So what’s ticking us off to the point of desk rage? The biggest gripes are: computers crashing, coworkers taking credit for your work, rude customers, interruptions, printer paper jams and the boss not noticing your hard work. Some desk-ragers go wild and scream, curse or slam doors. Others get passive aggressive and spread rumors, backstab, abuse sick days, and slack off. Either way, desk rage is a bad move.
John Challenger is the head of a workplace consulting company, and he says between long commutes, high gas prices and personal problems, people are often ready for a fight the minute they get to work. And that’s when rational thinking goes out the window because when we become angry, our bodies are flooded with stress hormones that stay high in our bloodstream for two hours and affect our ability to think clearly.
So what’s the best way to handle it? If you’re the one experiencing a rage attack, ask yourself if whatever’s upsetting you will still matter in five hours, five days, or five months. Is a printer jam really worth freaking out about? And if it’s a coworker issue, schedule a sit down with them and address the behavior head on.
Essentially, we need to bring “professionalism” back to the workplace. We need to stop raising our voices and lashing out at others. If we don’t treat our colleagues with respect, we can’t expect it in return. And if you’d like to go further, check out the book How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress.