Workplace Rudeness Can be a Nightmare

September 3, 2009 ( - New research has found a link between being a victim of workplace bullying and sleep problems.

According to the New York Times, the study of French workers, Workplace Bullying and Sleep Disturbances, published in the journal SLEEP, found that about one in 10 workers in the sample experienced “hostile behavior” at work at least once a week, and bullying victims were twice as likely to report sleep problems than workers who didn’t experience hostility at work.

In addition, about one in three people studied reported that they had seen a co-worker bullied in the previous 12 months, and those who witnessed bullying in the workplace also were twice as likely to report sleep problems.

Workplace bullying can include everything from belittling comments and yelling to spreading gossip and excluding someone from an important meeting, the Times explained.

An abstract about the summary: “Although no conclusion about causality could be drawn from this cross-sectional study, the findings suggest that the contribution of workplace bullying to the burden of sleep disturbances may be substantial.”

The study population consisted of a random sample of 3132 men and 4562 women of the working population in the southeast of France. The study report can be accessed here . (subscription required)

The findings are similar to another recent study which found that observing rude behavior in the workplace can erode the ability of fellow employees to think creatively, solve problems, and act as team players (see Demeaning Employees Derails Productivity ).