How common is workplace bullying?

More Than Two in Five Employees Surveyed Have Had an Office Bully

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Office bullying may be more common than many managers realize.  According to recent research from staffing firm OfficeTeam, more than two in five (43 per cent) of workers surveyed admitted they've had an office bully, yet the majority (63 per cent) of human resources (HR) managers interviewed said they think workplace bullying never happens at their company. Another quarter (25 per cent) think it rarely occurs.

When employees were asked how they responded to a bully, 27 per cent stated they told their manager. Another 25 per cent confronted the bully, and 18 per cent did nothing.

Workers were asked, "Have you ever had an office bully?" Their responses:







HR managers were asked, "How often do you think office bullying takes place at your company?" Their responses*:



Not very often


Somewhat often


Very often


Don't know




*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding

Workers who have had an office bully were also asked, "What did you do in response?" Their responses:

Told my manager


Confronted the bully


Quit my job








"Workplace bullying often flies under the radar because employees tolerate or fail to report it," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Managers and staff alike should be supported in addressing bullying issues. This includes not giving anyone a pass for negative behaviour, no matter how valued that person may be."

OfficeTeam offers five tips to help employees who are victims of workplace bullying:  

  1. Take a stand. Avoid being an easy target. Bullies often back off if you show confidence and stick up for yourself.
  2. Talk it out. Have a one-on-one discussion with the bully, providing examples of behaviours that made you feel uncomfortable. It's possible the person is unaware of how his or her actions are negatively affecting others.
  3. Keep your cool. As tempting as it is to go tit-for-tat, don't stoop to the bully's level. Stay calm and professional.
  4. Document poor conduct. Maintain a record of instances of workplace bullying, detailing what was said or done by the individual. 
  5. Seek support. If the issue is serious or you aren't able to resolve it on your own, alert your manager or HR department for assistance. 


About the Research
The surveys of workers and HR managers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by an independent research firm and include responses from more than 400 Canadian workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments, and more than 300 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For more information, including online job search services, visit Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog, for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

Image with caption: "Workplace Bullying (CNW Group/OfficeTeam)". Image available at:

For further information: Robert Half, 181 Bay Street, Suite 820, Toronto, ON M5J 2T3, Contact: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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