Britons are among the world’s most bullied workers, with seven in 10 admitting to being bullied by bosses or colleagues.
A survey by recruitment company Monster, questioning 16,517 workers in 53 countries, discovered a quarter of Brits find the bullying and cruel jibes so upsetting it dramatically affects their performance at work.
Some 10% admitted they had even been physically attacked in the workplace.
The research also found that our European counterparts also suffer badly from workplace bullying, with a staggering 83% claiming to be victims of physical or emotional bullying at work at some point in their career.
This compares to 65% of bullied Americans and 55% of harrassed Asian workers. The survey also discovered that Spanish workers are most likely to be physically attacked while sensitive Dutch workers are the most likely to shed a tear due to work bullying.
Belgium had the lowest rate of workplace bullying, with 38%.
"Employers are responsible for a worker’s health, safety and welfare while at work and should provide an atmosphere where people can get on with their job," says Alan Townsend, Chief Operating Officer, Monster UK and Ireland.
"All companies should ensure they have clear policies and procedures for employees that are followed through by management. This can then prevent potentially dangerous outcomes such as poor workplace morale, lost productivity, litigation and health costs."
These findings follow a previous study by Staffordshire University Business School discovered that nearly 14 million British employees in the UK suffer from work bullying, according to BullyOnline.org.
With bullying now being commonplace in the British workplace, what should someone do if they experience this kind of adult bullying?
"If you are feeling bullied, confide in a manager or the Human Resources department in your workplace,” a spokesperson from Bullying UK told The Huffington Post.
"This might not be so easy to do if it is a small organisation or you are being harassed or bullied by a manager. You could ask if they have a policy in place to deal with bullying and harassment at work. If you are a member of a trade union, you could get in touch with them and ask them for advice and representation. If you have house insurance, then you may be covered for legal expenses too, it’s worth checking this.
"If you are looking to take this issue to an employment tribunal, you do need the best advice possible. Therefore, please get in touch with the Tribunals Helpline on 0845 959 775 so you are able to get advice on the steps you have to take."
To identify whether you’re being bullied at work, Directgov has compiled a list of examples of bullying behaviour:
- Constantly picked on
- Humiliated in front of colleagues
- Regularly unfairly treated
- Physically or verbally abused
- Blamed for problems caused by others
- Always given too much to do, so that you regularly fail in your work
- Regularly threatened with the sack
- Unfairly passed over for promotion or denied training opportunities
If you're a victim of bullying in the workplace, find out how you should handle it with top tips from BullyOnline.org.