A survey has been carried out by Peninsula Ireland of 1,149 workers in February 2008. The law firm found that the Irish workplace is getting more "hot tempered" with a majority of workers experiencing regular verbal abuse.
The survey found that this work rage was affecting seven out of every ten employees with similar numbers reporting regular shouting at work.
The law firm survey also found that 74 per cent of Irish workers admitted to having lost their temper whilst at work. Nine out of every ten affected by rage blamed it on co-workers who were not "pulling their weight".
Some of the 68 per cent of people surveyed said that verbal and yelling abuse was common at their work place.
Alan Price of Peninsula Ireland said: "You get situations in Ireland where employees fear coming into work. It is time to expose workplace bullying for what it really is, a form of harassment and in no way should it be tolerated. "Bullying in the workplace can take on many forms and it’s not just from colleagues as it seems many workers are harassed by management. "We urge employers to have a system in place where workers are encouraged to speak to someone if they feel bullied and where their complaint is taken seriously and acted upon."
Mr Price went onto say "When talking to employees it is apparent that those that are bullied by management or their employer are reluctant to work as hard as those that are not bullied. "Silent bullying presents a major problem, where someone feels isolated when left out of group discussions and decisions. "Employees and employers need to remember that harassment is in the eye of the recipient and the question employers need to ask is whether the situation could be considered severe enough for the employee to take legal action."
Mental Health Ireland said it would be concerned for the well being of workers who are continually on the receiving end of co-workers and boses who loose their tempers.
The Chief Executive of Mental Health Ireland, Brian Howard said "If this is a new phenomenon it would certainly be a cause of concern for us." commenting on the fact that 68 per cent of respondents to the survey saying that yelling and verbal abuse at work was common, Mr Howard said " If it is representative of the entire country there is something pretty wrong there that needs to be addressed. There would be a concern for the well being of individuals if seven out of ten people regularly experience shouting and yelling in the workplace."
Mental Health Ireland had surveys in 2003 and 2005 that showed work places were generally becoming more stressful, but had not explored any pattern of roaring and yelling abuse.
Mr Howard went on to say " If someone loses their temper once in a blue moon, well I think everybody would put their hand up to that, when they encounter extreme stressful situations and if they are working very long hours. But to loose one's temper on a regular basis, i.e. daily or weekly, if seven out of ten people are experiencing that it would be a bit of a shock to us".
Brian Howard has advised workers to take action when stress in the workplace was taking its toll. He concluded by saying " There's greater stress on the workforce, but our findings suggest most people can cope with the growth of stress, but with a significant minority around the 20 to 25 per cent mark, it does affect their life styles and the quality of their work.Our advice is recognise that stress is a modern day phenomenon and to recognise the causes of it and take action where necessary."
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