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How to handle bullying in the workplace

23 Jul 2020

Bullying at work can be hard to recognise sometimes. So, how can you be aware of it and how can you deal with it?

Many of us associate bullying with the school yard, but it happens in workplaces, too. NUI Galway research published earlier this year estimated that 1.7m days of work are lost in Ireland every year because of workplace bullying, potentially costing the economy up to €239m annually.

Dr John Cullinane, one of the study’s leaders, said: “Workplace bullying is a pervasive problem with significant personal and wider costs.” He added that “bullying-related costs are unlikely to have gone away” as a result of recent Covid-19 work-from-home practices.

Another lead, Dr Margaret Hodgins, advised on the importance of implementing anti-bullying policies in the workplace. “Ideally, organisations should be proactive, identifying how and when bullying occurs in the organisation, and be prepared to develop specific interventions that are appropriate to context,” she said.

How can you identify bullying?

Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com last year, Joyce Rigby-Jones of HR consultancy Voltedge said bullying at work is defined as: “Repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work”.

This can come in many forms, from physical actions or verbal abuse, to continued negative behaviours that may be more difficult to identify or call out. It can involve supervisors or co-workers, and can affect people from all backgrounds.

So, how can you recognise bullying and how can you deal with it in the workplace?

This infographic from Resume.io features a guide on how to handle a bully at the office based on advice from industry experts. It has tips for people who have experienced bullying themselves or have seen it affect others in the workplace, making it a handy resource for teams and managers.

An infographic showing how to deal with bullying at work.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: Resume.io

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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