While last week's National Ban Bullying at Work Day garnered a great deal of press coverage, the organiser of the initiative says many employers are turning a blind eye to the issue, despite the extent of the problem.
In the 12 years since she founded anti-workplace bullying charity, the Andrea Adams Trust, Lyn Witheridge has been aware of seven suicides and countless nervous breakdowns caused by bullying at work. On a busy day, her organisation takes up to 70 calls on its helpline.
"Awareness and recognition of what constitutes bullying is absolutely essential if the problem is to be challenged," she says.
Witheridge defines bullying as "an abuse of power or position" and says it is just as likely to occur between colleagues of equal standing as it is between managers and their staff.
But this abuse can take many subtle forms.
The blocking of job opportunities, exclusion from meetings, overbearing levels of supervision and the spreading of malicious rumours are actions on the dark-side of office politics, which, although not traditionally regarded as bullying, result in employees feeling undermined and victimised.
If employers are serious about confronting these issues, they must work at creating a culture where their employees feel comfortable reporting them, according to Bruce Haines, chief executive of leading London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett.
Haines is a patron of the Andrea Adams Trust and he feels that talking about workplace bullying is taboo in many organisations, which results in valued workers leaving or under-performing.
"It's something that occurs in every company and it is bad business practice not to deal with it," he says.
Haines' approach has been to bring the issue out into the open by speaking about it at meetings and circulating company-wide e-mails stating what behaviour the organisation deems unacceptable.