The meanest bully around could be sitting next to you at work. That’s according to a new study that found that more people than ever are the victims of workplace cyberbullies.
Researchers had 300 volunteers complete a survey that asked questions like, “Have you received mean or threatening texts or emails from coworkers?” And “How often does a coworker bully you on sites like Facebook?” They defined bullying behavior as being humiliated, ignored or gossiped about.
The result? 80 percent of volunteers said they’ve experienced workplace bullying. And 1-in-5 suffer it every week. That’s wreaking havoc on workers - making victims much more stressed and not as happy or productive as their non-bullied coworkers.
Researchers hope that the study will serve as a wake-up call to employers because cyberbullying could be happening at their company, right under their nose.
And don’t expect your employees to speak up about it. In fact, the study found that most coworkers who witness online bullying don’t report it, because they’re not sure how to step in.
Online witnesses are also less likely to feel the need to intervene – versus witnessing bullying in person. Because online, they can psychologically distance themselves from it more.
So, what happens if you’re experiencing workplace bullying? Experts say always report it to H-R so they can professionally nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.