A Final Word on Workplace Survival

78% of people, who responded to a University of North Carolina survey, as cited in an article titled “Eliminate Workplace Conflict and Improve Productivity,” said that being rude and insensitive in the workplace has increased in the last decade. Most people who responded could give specific examples of when this has affected them at work, some examples of these statistics are: 37% of people said that a conflict caused them to become apathetic towards their work, and 28% didn’t get as much done because they were trying to avoid the person whom they had the conflict with.

A recent article in MANAGE smarter titled Eliminate Workplace Conflict and Improve Productivity cited a University of North Carolina survey found that 78% of respondents think rudeness and incivility in the workplace have increased in the last decade. And every one of those surveyed could cite examples of co-workers who had caused workplace conflicts or treated them in a disrespectful manner.

Additionally, difficult people hurt productivity. The survey found that:

  • 53% of the respondents said they lost work time worrying about a past or future confrontation with a co-worker.
  • 37% said a hostile confrontation caused them to reduce their commitment to the organization.
  • 28% said they lost work time because they avoided the confrontational co-worker.
  • 22% said they put less effort into their work because of confrontations.

As MANAGE smarter writer Dr. Alan Zimmerman points out:

“The same problems that plagued people in ancient times are still with us today. People are still rude, selfish, insensitive and difficult—some of the time. Unfortunately, you may be forced to work with these difficult people. That’s life.”

By the way, Bob Sutton has a name for these people, and the Families and Work Institute says that 40% of workers describe their office environment as “most like a real-life survivor program.”

So what can you do about it?

Ask yourself: “What’s my role in this?” Maybe there’s something that you’re doing or saying that’s contributing to the situation. Don’t ever assume that blame can be assessed at 100%.

ACT, don’t react. You have the opportunity to engage from a position of emotion or from one of reason. Choose the latter.

Use the experience as a lesson. Focus your energy on trying to learn how to work through these types of situations in the present and future instead of wasting your strength and losing your sanity on becoming frustrated.

Disengage. You don’t have to show up to every argument or confrontation simply because you’re invited or provoked to do so. You’re clear on what your purpose is. Simply ask yourself: “Is this encounter necessary for me to get my job done?” The answer, more often than not, will be a resounding “NO!”

I’d like to thank the following folks for participating in the Workplace Survival Dialog:

Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends for her comments.

Dina Giolitto of Wordfeeder.com for her comments.

Carl Moeller for his trackback Isolation in the Workplace: Not What You Think.

Daniel Sitter at Idea Sellers for his post Sales: Successfully Working From a Home Office.

Shawn Hessinger of bootstrapme.com for his post Balance especially important for part-time entrepreneurs.

Jonathan-C. Phillips at SmartWealthyRich for his post Recharge Your Batteries.

Natalie at LogoTree for her post We Don’t Care As Much About Wages.

Kate at Starmedia for her post I Owe, I Owe, It’s Off to Work I Go.

Thank you all for contributing in a lively discussion.

Related posts: The WORKPLACE SURVIVAL Dialog WORKPLACE SURVIVAL Dialog – First Contributions WORKPLACE SURVIVAL Dialog – New Contributions WORKPLACE SURVIVAL DIALOG – How often do you take a personal day from work?

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