Is Your Workplace Hostile or Threatening?

Joe Weinlick
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If you suspect that your working conditions are less than stellar, you are not alone. According to a study by the University of California, Harvard Medical School and the Rand Corporation, approximately one in five workers report that they have experienced a hostile workplace. The study of 3,066 participants revealed that nearly 55 percent of workers describe their work environment as "potentially hazardous." See how a grim workplace can negatively impact your overall production.

The Effects of Intense Labor

According to the study, three-fourths of workers polled described their positions as "intense" with "repetitive physical labor." Jobs that are physically demanding require special attention from managers and supervisors, especially when accompanied by a hostile workplace. Incorporate frequent breaks to help employees refuel their bodies and their minds, and focus on ways to simplify existing tasks or decrease workloads to further motivate your staff.

The Lack of Advancement Opportunities

Your employees need to feel that they're advancing in their careers to remain motivated. However, according to the study, only 38 percent of workers see advancement opportunities in their current positions. If your staff do not see potential to level up within your firm or even their departments, they lose enthusiasm, which ultimately affects production, customer service and motivation. Consider providing professional development activities to increase skill levels, boost morale and decrease the chances of your company being perceived as a hostile workplace.

The Need for Telecommuting

Technology has transformed how the workplace operates; however, many firms are still resistant to the idea of telecommuting or flexible work hours. Offering flextime is one way to diffuse a potentially hostile workplace and give employees an environment that is much more accommodating. The study reports that only 78 percent of workers polled have been offered telecommuting options. Think of ways you can add some flexibility to your operations to help employees reach their full potential and increase their job satisfaction.

The Rise in Overtime

Downsizing has contributed to an increase in hostile workplace environments. More and more employees are expected to take on additional duties to make up for a lack of staff, which ultimately decreases morale and creates a grim company culture. In fact, 50 percent of workers polled reported that they have to utilize their personal time to meet the demands of their positions. Morale is crucial for productivity, and when your employees are forced to cut into their personal time, you may be adding to the hostility that exists in the workplace and damaging the working conditions.

It's demoralizing to walk in and out of a hostile workplace each and every day. Do your part to minimize the animosity, negative dialogue and demanding physical labor that might exist in your work environment and give your staff the workplace of their dreams.

Photo Courtesy of imagerymajestic at


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Caroline B thanks for your comments. Wow - time to get out of there. That is terrible. Hopefully you are no longer working there and maybe you reported them to the police. We wish you all the best in your job search endeavors.

  • Caroline B.
    Caroline B.

    Second job was Homecare company Employees not getting paid and found out that President killed someone and fled the country. Has made me very uneasy looking for work now.

  • Caroline B.
    Caroline B.

    My last two jobs were strange for lack of better words. I am a Healthcare Recruiter 0f 21 yrs in agency. I took a job where it ended up being in the basement of a home that resembled a hoarders nightmare. I worked next to 3 rifles ina a gun case with nunerous guns through out the home.

  • Chris Knutson
    Chris Knutson

    Isn't it sad that they put in charge who are so demeaning and unprofessional? Reminds you of the guy whipping the horse pulling the cart that breaks his spirit therefore rendering him useless. Sad that these employers even exist. Creativity and empowerment are not in their vocabulary.


    my last job was very toxic and morale was very low i left even after working there 15 yrs

  • Christopher V.
    Christopher V.

    Been there, felt that

  • Karen B.
    Karen B.

    Yes it is

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