Workplace Bullying – The impact beyond the workplace
Most people might not agree with the phenomenon of “workplace bullying” or the fact that it actually exists, but the truth is that it not only exists, but it also results in the creation of an unhealthy environment in the office. In literal terms, bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could possibly mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes these acts could also involve physical assault such as hitting, tripping, pushing, slapping, spitting or in worst case scenarios, stealing or destroying possessions of the other i.e., deleting someone’s important work files from their computers in their absence, etc.
Workplace bullying is when your boss or coworkers assert power over you through aggression, which results in you feeling intimidated, offended, degraded or humiliated. Verbal bullying is more likely to take place in workplace related situations, such actions include spreading malicious rumors or gossip to portray a negative image about an employee, excluding or isolating someone from social gatherings happening inside the office, withholding necessary information or purposely giving the wrong information to an employee to restrict him/her from giving the required output to the boss, belittling a person’s opinion during office meetings or presentations, etc.
Workplace bullying definitely exists, but it often becomes difficult to draw a line between strong management and bullying. Comments or demands that are objective and intended to provide constructive feedback or improve employee performance, do not come under the definition of bullying, but are instead intended to improve organisations internal working conditions and overall output.
Workplace bullying heavily impacts a person and their working capacity, not just inside but also outside the organization. Inside the organization, an employee who is a victim of constant workplace bullying might end up taking a lot of days off from work or stay extremely stressed, which in turn affects the organization because that person will become less productive. There might be instances where the victim becomes so depressed that he/she would have to get some treatment or enroll in an assistance program, for which the company will have to bear the cost. Apart from that, the victim will continuously have a decreased morale and lower motivation level, which will definitely affect the current standing of the company, in a negative sense. There is a high chance that the victim stops performing his/her duties well, even when it comes to interacting with corporate from different organizations or the general customers of the company, which then results in reduced corporate standing and decreased customer confidence.
But the impact of workplace bullying is not just restricted to within the organization, it also affects an individual personally in his everyday life. Feelings of helplessness and frustration are highly likely to develop in a person because of the bullying he/she faces every day, which might make them depressed to the extent of harming themselves or taking their own life. The constant bullying may as well result in the victim putting that stress within their family life, resulting in fights with spouses to the extent of physical abuse and divorces. A victim might also become less confident about themselves and face the issue of low self-esteem because of which there is a possibility of them not being able to do tasks properly or concentrate on anything at all. Physical symptoms such as loss of appetite and health issues, and psychosomatic symptoms such as stomach pains and anxiety/panic can also be experienced by a victim or workplace bullying.
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