Workplace Bullying is Bad for Your Health

September 11, 2012 ( - Bullying at the office can cause employees to develop health issues and leave their jobs.

The number of workers experiencing bullying in the office is on the rise, according to a new study by CareerBuilder—35% of workers said they have felt bullied at work, up from 27% last year. Sixteen percent reported health problems as a result of bullying, while 17% said they left their job to escape the problem. Furthermore, the study found nearly half of workers do not confront their bullies and the majority of incidents go unreported.

Of those who  said they have experienced bullying, 48% cited incidents with their bosses and 45% with coworkers. Thirty-one percent pointed to bullying by customers and 26% by a superior other than their boss. More than half (54%) said they were bullied by someone older; 29% reported a younger bully.

The study found that the most common types of workplace bullying are:

  • Falsely accusing others of mistakes – 42%,
  • Ignoring others – 39%,
  • Using different standards/policies for one employee than others – 36%,
  • Constantly criticizing others – 33%,
  • Not performing certain duties, negatively impacting another’s work – 31%,
  • Yelling (by boss) in front of other coworkers – 28%,
  • Belittling another’s work during meetings – 24%,
  • Gossiping about coworkers – 26%,
  • Stealing credit for another’s work – 19%,
  • Purposely excluding others from projects or meetings – 18%, and 
  • Picking on personal attributes – 15%.


Just 49% said they confronted the bully themselves. Of the 27% that reported the incidents to a human resources department, less than half (43%) said action was taken.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder between May 14 and June 4, 2012. Participants included 3,892 U.S. workers (employed full time, not self-employed, non-government) ages 18 and over.