As stated in a 2021 Channel News Asia article, experts shared that workplace bullying and toxic working cultures were more common in Singapore than people think. From the recent BooksActually fiasco to the Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) saga, they indeed aren’t wrong.
While only these few cases have come to light because of the companies’ prominence, workplace bullying can happen to anyone – not just large corporations or well-known organisations – and should not be tolerated.
What can workplace bullying look like?
Workplace bullying can be seen as verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by someone or a group of people at work. It also does not necessarily have to be someone in a higher position than you, though that can be a contributing factor.
The most prominent type of bullying is definitely verbal or physical. This is when the perpetrator hurls insults and makes hurtful remarks towards the victim or causes actual physical harm to the person.
Bullying can also take on more insidious forms. Bullies can exclude you from groups during social gatherings, engage in gossiping and criticise you unnecessarily in front of your co-workers.
What can I do if I’m being bullied?
Workplace bullying should not be tolerated and there are several things you can do to alleviate this issue:
1. Document the bully’s actions
Start taking note of all the incidents that are causing you distress. Document the specifics of each occurrence and what you’ve also done in response to try to stop things from happening again. This can help you later on when you go to the official channels to make a complaint.
2. Setting boundaries
Confrontation is never easy, but it is necessary. If you feel like certain behaviours in the workplace are detrimental to your emotional well-being and your work, find a time to sit down with the person and exercise your right to tell them that what they are doing is making you feel uncomfortable.
Call out incidents that are impacting your work negatively and let them know that you will not tolerate such behaviour. If they are reluctant to change or repeat the same behaviours on purpose in the future, it is a sign to address it with your company’s HR representatives or the management team, depending on what policies your organisation has.
3. Get support from trusted sources
Bullying can take a significant toll on your mental well-being too, so talk to a trusted friend or co-worker about your situation. Not only can they offer support and comfort in this trying time, but they can help give an outsider’s point of view on the situation.
At the end of the day, bullying is not right in any form and everyone should be respected in the workplace. If you are a victim of bullying, know that you are not alone and have every right to stand up for yourself!