Do You Work with a Bunch of Jerks?

    We’ve seen an increasing amount of coverage in the press about “bullying” incidents in our nation’s schools and the sometimes traumatic and even fatal results. Unfortunately, while we might like to think of this as kids being kids, these attitudes and unacceptable behaviors can linger into adulthood and poison the workplace.

    According to Connectria Hosting, 57 percent of organizations lack a zero-tolerance “office bully” policy even though more than half (55 percent) of employees admit to being bullied at work. To further explore this topic, they commissioned an independent study to look at behavior and attitudes in the workplace and the impact they have on productivity, quality and morale.

    “The research shows what we’ve known all along – working with jerks not only impacts employees, but can have a negative effect on the overall business,” said Rich Waidmann, president and CEO of Connectria Hosting. “Taking a stance against bad behavior, like bullying, can lead to improved employee morale and increased job satisfaction. We challenge every company to join the ‘No Jerks Allowed®’ movement and commit to ridding the workplace of jerks.”

    In addition to the research, the company announced the launch of a website dedicated to the movement: With videos, blog posts, content and anecdotes, the site will serve as a resource for other companies and leaders looking to join the movement as well as those looking to share their own stories.

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    No Jerks Allowed

    Click through for results from a survey on workplace bullying and its effects on employees and the business, commissioned by Connectria Hosting.

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    The ‘Jerk’ Landscape

    The findings reveal a grim reality for today’s professionals: 83 percent claim to have worked with a jerk within the last five years. A deeper look unveils just what kind of personality most are up against:

    • The Know-it-all: Nearly 30 percent say this is the most common jerk “personality” they have come in contact with.
    • The Bully: 26 percent
    • The Complainer: 21 percent
    • The Brownnoser: 16 percent
    • The Office Gossip: 4 percent

    According to the findings, some professionals don’t have to look very far – 1 out of 5 admit to having been an office jerk themselves. Although, when looking into their own behavior, the top personalities reported are “know-it-all” (48 percent) and “complainer” (34 percent).

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    The Impact of Working with Jerks

    The consequences of working with jerks can have a significant impact on an organization. The findings reveal that a department is impacted in the following ways:

    • Low employee morale: 59 percent
    • Employees take on a “lone wolf” mentality and prefer to work alone: 42 percent
    • Decreased product quality: 40 percent
    • Inability to get work done: 34 percent

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    Finding Job Satisfaction

    For companies looking to cultivate a satisfied workforce, the research reveals that providing an environment that supports positive relationships among colleagues leads to the highest job satisfaction (43 percent) followed by office locations (27 percent), the culture (15 percent) and investment in employees (11 percent).

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    Root Canal vs. Office Jerk?

    Nearly half (48 percent) of professionals would rather sit in a middle seat on an international flight than work with a jerk, followed by a root canal (20 percent) and taking a “lower” position in another department (20 percent).

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    The Return of the Water Cooler

    Remember the days of catching up around the water cooler? While the water cooler may have evolved, the significance of a social work environment remains. Sixty-eight percent of respondents claim to work in a “water-cooler culture” where employees socialize, talk about current events and share weekend activities. In today’s businesses, however, the water cooler has been replaced:

    • 77 percent report the socializing takes place at people’s desks
    • 40 percent around the coffee maker
    • 27 percent in the conference room
    • 23 percent outside the office (e.g., at a bar, restaurant, etc.)
    • 14 percent around the actual water cooler

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