When we think of bullying, our mind automatically goes to the school playground and classroom. We think of children calling each other names and in this modern era, we might think of cyber bullying on social media sites. Very few people's minds would turn straight to bullying in the workplace, adults demonising other adults and sometimes physical abuse in the office. That is of course, unless you have been the victim of workplace harassment.
There are varying degrees of bullying in the workplace, none of which are condoned and all of which can cause the victim serious mental and emotional harm. It might start as name calling or making fun of a particular aspect of someone's appearance or personality. Someone in a managerial position may constantly criticise your work or give you an impossible workload and deadlines. The more serious acts of bullying that can occur in a place of work include public humiliation in front of your colleagues, harassing emails and physical abuse.
For those people who have suffered at the hands of an office bully, they can suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety and panic. They might develop depression and more often than not, the effects of being bullied will lead them to leave their job for a long period of time or on a permanent basis. Sometime the effects are so damaging that victims have self-harmed as a coping mechanism or even took the tragic step of ending their own life because they could no longer deal with the effects of being harassed.
The perpetrators of workplace harassment are often those in a senior position with a managerial or supervisory role. They feel that this status allows them to dominate their subordinates, however this sense of self-importance can transform into bullying. That is not to say all managers and supervisors are bullies, and sometimes the bully will have no senior position but will use social skills to turn their fellow colleagues against one particular person. However, the commonality of the bully being in a senior role often makes it harder for the victim to report the abuse.
They may feel like their boss would not believe their word over that of a manager, or that the claims would be swept under the rug. Sometimes the victims are moved into a different department and the bully is allowed to carry on as normal. More often than not it is the victims who suffer and the bully is never brought to justice. Businesses seem to be unable to come to terms with the fact that one of their employees has been harassing another employee, as if it would become public knowledge and damage their reputation.
This fear by company leaders means that often no action is taken at all. And when this happens, the victim has every right to seek the help of an employment law solicitor who will be able to help them fight for justice and compensation due to the loss of earnings and emotional damage caused by the workplace bully.