Save to Pocket

81% of workers say they’ve either been bullied or witnessed it happening to a coworker

Recently-released research from Radius Global Market Research shows that a staggering 81% of American workers report either having seen a colleague get bullied “in person” or having faced it themselves. But while almost 60% of those surveyed said that coworkers “were most often” the perpetrators of bullying, they weren’t the only ones making people feel uncomfortable at work.

Among people who have seen sexual harassment play out or gone through it specifically, 44% said it was still “unresolved” at the time of the research. Among people who have seen sexual harassment or had it done to them, “one in five” said it was “subtle or overt.”

The company surveyed 1,025 adults in the U.S. Here are some key points, and how you can deal with bullying in your workplace.

Who’s bullying others at work

The research found that while “one in five experienced bullying from a subordinate,” 23% said it was done by a company leader and 39% said it was done by a supervisor, while 67% have witnessed a colleague getting bullied.

According to the findings, getting yelled at or made fun of in the presence of coworkers happened to 29% of respondents, while other reported examples included  “coercion to work extra hours” (22%), bullying because of “body type” or appearance (23%), “pressure to take on a specific task” (23%), and bullying based on the type of clothing they were wearing (23%).

Jill Gress, vice president of Radius Global Market Research, commented on the findings in a statement: “Harassment at work is not just limited to encounters that are sexual in nature,” she said. “As toxic work environments can severely impact employee productivity and job satisfaction, we are determined to bring greater awareness of bullying into the public eye so organizations can take positive action to change employee behavior.”

How to handle bullying at work

There are a few routes you can take.

  • Steps to take if it comes from your boss: Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and co-author of The Bully-Free Workplace: Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes From Killing Your Organization, told Monster what you can do if your boss the one doing the bullying. “You need to break the silence with co-workers…Chances are you’re not the only person [being bullied], and you can use your collective power to mobilize as a group,” he tells the site. He also mentioned emphasizing how these actions aren’t good for business when talking to  a top manager.
  • What to do if it comes from a coworker: Sally Kane, an editor, attorney and writer with a focus on careers, legal and business matters, writes in The Balance about steps to take if the bullying perpetrator is someone you work with. “If you’re being tormented by a co-worker, you can take the matter to your supervisor, but this might make the situation worse if your supervisor reprimands or otherwise imposes some type of punishment against the instigator,” She writes. “If your supervisor is the problem, go over his head if possible. You might want to keep notes and documentation of the incidents so you have proof.”

More from Ladders