Researchers found that workplace ostracism can lead to job dissatisfaction and health problems. Photo: Ariadna de Raadt, iStock.
Being ignored at work is worse for physical and mental well-being than harassment or bullying, says a new study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
Researchers found that while most consider ostracism less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction, quitting and health problems.
“We’ve been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable–if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” says Sauder Professor Sandra Robinson, who co-authored the study. “But ostracism actually leads people to feel more helpless, like they’re not worthy of any attention at all."
The researchers used a series of surveys for their study. First they determined that people consistently rate workplace ostracism as less socially inappropriate, less psychologically harmful and less likely to be prohibited than workplace harassment
Additional surveys revealed that people who claimed to have experienced ostracism were significantly more likely to report a degraded sense of workplace belonging and commitment, a stronger...
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