A survey from job search engine Monster.com revealed that nine out of 10 workers say they have been bullied at work.
More than half of employees reported being tormented by their bosses or their colleagues through techniques such as aggressive emails and being gossiped about.
Past research has found that bullying can cause victims to suffer from mental health consequences, such as feeling anxious or depressed, and physical effects including loss of appetite and not getting enough sleep.
This can, in turn, affect work productivity and potentially lead to more bullying – and become a vicious cycle – and the surveyors say that it’s becoming ‘pervasive and common’ in many workplaces.
They urge that employees need to get out as soon as they start experiencing it before it becomes normalized.
The majority of the workers – around 51 percent – said that it was their bosses or managers that bullied them.
About 40 percent said the bullying came from a coworker or a colleague.
Meanwhile, nearly four percent reported being bullied by a client or customer, and about 1.5 percent admitted to being the bully themselves.
Most participants said they were bullied via an email that had an aggressive tone and/or language.
Other methods of bullying included someone raising their voice or yelling, critiques that weren’t constructive, and people taking credit for work they didn’t do.
Several studies have found that bullying can have harmful effects on someone’s physical and mental health.
Victims offer struggle with feelings of low self-esteem, shame, anxiety, depression and isolation.
They may also experience insomnia, appetite loss and psychosomatic symptoms, such as stomachaches or headaches that have no medical cause.
Past research has documented several other problems workers can experience while on the job.
A study from the University of Southern California followed bankers for nine years and found that, by the third year, they often developed tics such as nail-biting or conditions like insomnia
Other studies have found that workers suffer from poor mental health, it results in billions of dollars of lost income.
A study published last year by Pennsylvania State University found that poor mental health costs the US $53 billion a year as employees take more days off and work slower.
Monster career expert Vicki Salemi said that, because bullying is common, it may be normalized by workers.
‘You may even stop realizing it’s bullying because it happens so often or you think: “My boss always talks to me this,”‘ she told DailyMail.com.
‘But these are all signs of a toxic workplace and this can be the impetus for you to start looking for a healthy work environment.’
She added that it’s in a company’s best interest to implement consequences for the bully.
‘There’s a labor shortage and it’s getting harder and harder not only to find excellent workers but to retain them,’ Salemi said.
‘If a company’s environment is bullying, it will become a revolving door for workers because they know there’s a better workplace out there.’
*Article was first published in 2019