working from home and workplace bullying

Bullying in the workplace

Workplace bullying has increased with the introduction of the Workchoices legislation. Workplace bullying has fast become a heated topic for discussion, with the state governments and other professional organization’s launching special task forces with a mission to raise awareness, devise and implement proactive measures to combat and eliminate harassment in our places of employment. In my opinion, this has not come quickly enough, or effective with many workers being subject to workplace bullying and in many cases discrimination, whether in a passive or a directly confrontational way without recourse. So what is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying has been defined as:

… continued and deliberate unfair, unjust, or abusive treatment of an individual at work by one or more co-workers, supervisors, managers, or customers.


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Is your workplace a toxic environment?

Take the test:

  • Does your workplace have a high staff turnover rate?
    Is there a high percentage of staff absenteeism?
    Are staff morale levels low?
    Are productivity and performance levels low?

Does your boss?

  • blame others for errors
  • raising false concerns about or criticizing the work of others
  • making unreasonable demands
  • yelling and screaming threats of job loss, insult, or put-downs
  • inconsistent enforcement of arbitrary rules
  • social exclusion
  • stealing credit for another’s work

If your child is a victim of School Bullying don’t put up with it. Report it immediately.

While workplace bullying should not be tolerated and reported to the senior management immediately there are several strategies you can follow to address certain situations, before they escalate out of control.

In a situation where a colleague or supervisor throws burning criticism or downgrading and spiteful comments continuously, rather than providing constructive feedback, don’t let this type of behaviour continue to rob you of your self-esteem. Instead, try implementing the following communication strategies to diffuse verbal abuse with dignity.

Don’t become defensive or respond in kind by yelling abuse back in return to workplace bullying. This will only add fuel to the fire and allow the abuser to see that they have successfully manipulated you into becoming upset. (if you claim the Industrial Relations Commission or the Equal Opportunity Commission, you have to be careful they don’t blame you for being the perpetrator of the allegation)

Look after yourself both physically and emotionally. Perhaps talk about this with someone outside your organization. Use your support network: friends and family may be able to assist. Approach your HR department, Supervisor, or Manager, and request support and assistance in dealing with this situation. [They should do all in their power to stop the harassment/workplace bullying]. If all else fails, consult industrial relations an advocate who specializes in Workplace bullying Issues. (we offer free, understanding advice)

Seek support from a Doctor, Therapist, or Counselor.

In many instances it may be appropriate to lodge a WorkCover claim, our experience is that claims are notoriously difficult to get accepted for workplace bullying. It is important to consult your doctor.

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Some Statistics for workplace bullying:

  • 21% or 1 in 5 workers are bullied.
    81% of bullies are bosses.
    41% of bullied individuals were diagnosed with depression.
    Over 80% of workplace bullying reported health effects such as severe anxiety, lost concentration, and sleeplessness.
    31% of females and 21% of males subjected to workplace bullying are victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.
    82% of bullied individuals lost their jobs (44% unfairly dismissed, 38% forced to reign, constructive dismissal).
    In 51% of cases Human Resources did nothing to help the victim despite a request
  • Workplace bullying costs Employers, Employees, and Work cover authorities billions of dollars a year. Workplace bullying is stupid, it cost Employers a lot of money, many don’t care. For many profits come first.

Types of Bullying

  • Administrative bullying
  • Humiliation -Mental Anguish
  • Unlawful dismissal
  • Discrimination by harassment
  • Racial
  • Gender
  • Sexual
  • Victimization


  • Breakdown of business profitability
  • Breakdown of efficiency
  • Breakdown of income
  • Breakdown of self-esteem
  • Breakdown of family and relationships
  • Breakdown of finances
  • Bankruptcy
  • Raising of insurance and workers compensation premiums

Illness Description

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of confidence
  • Suicide
  • Loss of creativity
  • Drug addiction/alcoholism


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