Quarter of employees have been bullied at work

Experts say organisations need to ‘drive sustainable change’ and build a healthy workplace culture.

More than a quarter of employees reported being bullied despite a general increase in wellbeing, a new report has revealed.

In a survey of 4,000 employees, conducted by Bupa, 26 per cent of workers said they had experienced being bullied in the last three years – a rise of 12 percentage points compared to the number of cases reported in the three years up to 2019 (14 per cent).

This figure was even higher in certain sectors, with 33 per cent of employees in retail, 30 per cent in transportation and 29 per cent in the education sectors reporting they experienced bullying at work.

The research said factors such as role ambiguity and changes in work levels – caused by organisations being forced to adapt to pandemic regulations – could be placing employees under pressure, leading to an increase in bullying.

A lack of clarity over who to turn to when not in a physical office space could also allow cases of bullying to fly under the radar, the study highlighted. And heightened isolation caused by remote working could lead to exclusion – intentionally or not – as video meetings or instant messages may occur only among certain groups.

There is no place for bullying or discrimination in any organisation, whether that’s hiding behind a screen or face to face.  Employers have the same duty of care for their workers whether they’re in the office or at home. Therefore creating a culture where employees feel able to speak up if they experience any problems is absolutely key.


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