Angry office staff on the verge of physical violence

More than half of office staff in the UK become so angry at work that they
are close to punching a college

Violence lurks just below the surface and anger at work is having a
detrimental effect on morale and productivity in the UK’s offices.

According to research carried out by recruitment agency Pertemps, 53 per
cent of office staff have come close to resorting to violence at work, with 60
per cent of office workers regularly losing their tempers.

Loud-mouthed colleagues, people shouting across the office and being talked
over in meetings are the main causes of anger for 64 per cent of those polled.

IT problems such as malfunctioning computers caused 53 per cent of respondents
to lose their temper, followed by excessive workloads (51 per cent) and
interruptions while on the phone (37 per cent).

Men shout more often than women (67 per cent compared to 46 per cent), but
women have the strongest desire to hit people who upset them (51 per cent as
against 39 per cent).

When asked how they coped with anger, 31 per cent ignore the person
responsible, while 20 per cent – mostly women – make a cup of tea. A further 15
per cent swear under their breath and 8 per cent admit to hitting their

Seventy-four per cent are less productive when in a bad mood and 15 per cent
work slower when the boss is angry, fearful of making mistakes.

Eighty one per cent believe anger in the workplace had a detrimental effect
on morale. And 47 per cent feel long hours, increased responsibility and tight
deadlines have increased the number of ‘office rage’ cases over the past two

Tim Watts, chairman of Pertemps, said: "Angry and violent behaviour can
be dangerous, demotivating and stressful for all concerned. We advise companies
to consult regularly with staff, identify potential sources of conflict and try
to diffuse it early."

Zero tolerance for bullies at work

The workplace is increasingly
becoming a zero tolerance zone for bullies, a study has found.

Research by the Work Foundation finds that eight out of 10
organisations now have a code of conduct to deal with bullying and harassment.

A third of the 227 companies polled said workers breaking the
code would be sacked, and only 6 per cent would give an informal warning.

Thirty-two per cent of the respondents also said they
considered codes on bullying a priority for a well-run workplace, along with
work safety (41 per cent) and corporate confidentiality (33 per cent).

Angela Ishmael, head of dignity at work at the Work Foundation,
said: "It is good to see that the tide is turning, and that employers are
more committed to creating work environments where employees no longer need to
work in fear."

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