Are You Being Driven Berserk at Work?; A Rising Tide of Anger in the Workplace Is Leading to Violent Thoughts -and Acts -against Colleagues, Says Hannah Stephenson

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), January 22, 2004 | Go to article overview

Are You Being Driven Berserk at Work?; A Rising Tide of Anger in the Workplace Is Leading to Violent Thoughts -and Acts -against Colleagues, Says Hannah Stephenson


Byline: Hannah Stephenson

WORKERS are increasingly reaching boiling point at work, thanks to the bad behaviour of managers and colleagues who cheat, steal,exploit or are just ``incredibly loud'',according to new research.

And the anger build-up is so great that some of us have murderous thoughts about fellow employees, according to occupational psychologist Jill Booth,of the University of Central Lancashire, co-author of the study.

``Some of the respondents told me that they'd knocked someone out at work because the problem was left to accumulate,'' she says.

``Others fantasised about what they would like to do, saying things like, `I really wanted to kill him'.

Others simply quit their jobs.''

The study of workers aged between 25 and 55 revealed that other annoying factors included bosses exploiting their position by not doing their jobs properly or regularly teacher and became so angry that he would go home and rant and rave at his partner,also taking it out on his kids. He lost a lot of weight and became very insular.

``Another used to go home and ignore his children. He had no time for them because his energy levels were drained from work.He'd go home,have a bath and go to bed.''

While many are able to forget anger from an issue that has arisen at home, such as a row with a partner, ``The second most common long- term consequence was that people were chronically angered so they were angry every day at work and felt intense anger throughout the day. This affected their health -some were extremely stressed, became depressed and had to seek help or had taken a considerable amount of time off work because of their anger.''

So, what can we do to alleviate our anger levels at work?

Booth advises: On a personal level, try to resolve it as soon as possible with the person who is irritating you, without being confrontational but negotiating a solution. The longer a niggle continues, theless likely it is to be resolved.

Talk to other people you trust about the problem,but not in a malicious way, to help let off steam. n If that doesn't work,go to management and maybe try to be moved away from the person who is driving you mad.

Managers need to become more aware of the situation because it does affect the work performance of individuals. Managers must not treat anger events as trivial. They must try not to let anger accumulate in the workplace because it will affect productivity.

Nobody in the study considered that they may have made somebody angry. Look at it from the other person's point of view.

when they get to work,few are able to shrug off a work- related anger event when they get home. …

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