Three out of five IT staff bullied at work

More than three IT workers out of five are struggling to cope with bullying management techniques in the workplace, according to new research conducted by trade union Unite. And the situation is having a significant impact on productivity.

Of the 860 workers questioned, 22% said that they had taken time off work due to office bullying. Chief among workers’ complaints were the setting of unattainable deadlines, constant over-monitoring and excessive criticism of minor matters.

Over half of respondents felt that they had been harassed by senior members of staff. “In stressful environments, managers are under pressure to deliver results and [they therefore] pass that stress on to their employees,” says a spokesperson for Unite. Combined with “ineffective HR policies”, this creates a deadline-driven environment of constant antagonistic pressure.

More worryingly, many victims of workplace bullying are reluctant to speak out, creating a culture of silence around the problem. Nearly 40% of those bullied said that they had not raised the issue at all, while 26% of respondents said that they felt that any such complaint would be dismissed as an inability to cope.

Further reading

Unhappiness in the IT sector The IT professional’s lot, it seems, is not a happy one

Aligning IT and business processes Business agility demands are threatening to widen the gap between business and IT

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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