How to handle an abusive coworker

People often don’t get along with all of their coworkers. However, if employees are constantly getting harassed by an office bully, it can lead to significant stress and reduced productivity.

According to a recent study, the career website TopResume surveyed more than 1000 professionals. Out of all the respondents, 96% of them said they face some form of bullying or harassment at work. Some may think the bully is a supervisor or manager, but often, it’s the person sitting in the cubicle nearby.

Dealing with the office bully

Much like at school, confronting a bully can be intimidating. If an employee decides to do so, they should handle the matter professionally and gracefully. Here are some ways they can do so:

  • Address the issue directly: Workers can stand their ground against a bully. When communicating with them, victims must keep their emotions in check but remain firm with their message.
  • Tell a trusted supervisor or manager: For those who aren’t comfortable with engaging their harasser directly, they could bring the issue to the company’s human resources department or their boss. If a worker decides to do so, they should avoid placing blame on the bully, but rather show how their behavior is negatively impacting their productivity.
  • Look for a different place to work: If workers have exercised all options and are still getting harassed, it may be time to seek new opportunities. Whether that be with a new business or different sector of their company, no employee deserves to face constant mistreatment.

Employees deserve to feel safe at the office

Employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees to provide them with a safe work environment. Whether one is a boss or an entry-level worker, it’s vital for anyone who witnesses workplace bullying to confront the issue and create a better environment for themselves and others.