Everything You Need to Know About Workplace Bullying

Bullying has always been an issue many of us had to face in the playground when we were young. As much as we want to move on, the harsh reality is bullying could still happen even when you’re an adult, and it can happen at home, in public, or even in the workplace. Workplace bullying, or the verbal, physical, social, or psychological abuse by an employer, manager, or colleague at work, is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with effectively. Let’s discuss what workplace bullying is and how to know if it’s happening to you or around you.

What Does Bullying in a Workplace Look Like?

Workplace bullying is harmful, targeted behaviour that happens at work. It might be spiteful, offensive, mocking or intimidating. Usually, this type of behaviour forms a pattern, and it tends to be directed at one person or a group of people. Workplace bullying can take many forms some common examples are:

  • Repeated hurtful remarks or attacks, making fun of someone’s work or the person themselves.
  • Sexual harassment, particularly stuff like unwelcome touching and sexually explicit comments. Any requests from a superior or a colleague that make a person uncomfortable are also considered sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Playing mind games, ganging up on someone, or other types of psychological harassment.
  • Intimidation or the act of making someone feel less important and undervalued.
  • Making someone do pointless tasks that have nothing to do with the job or the opposite of it, which is giving someone impossible tasks that can’t be done at all.
  • Attacking or threatening someone with weapons, equipment, or any other type of object that can be used to harm a person.

These are just some common examples. Obviously, there are other ways bullying can manifest. Sometimes they can be so subtle that the person being attacked doesn’t even realise that they’re being bullied already.

What You Can Do If You Are Being Bullied At Work

When you’re the one on the receiving end of bullying at work, it’s important to recognise the signs early so you can take the necessary actions. Feeling helpless and troubled is a natural response to a situation like this, but you should know that there are things you can do and people who can help. If your office has a bullying policy and complaints procedure, here’s what you can do:

  • Keep a Diary – Document everything that happens and avoid sparing any details. Write down everything, including what you’ve done to stop it. This can be helpful when making a complaint.
  • Tell Someone at Work – You don’t have to go through the situation alone. A colleague, a supervisor, or a fellow victim can give you some form of support. Being alone is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when dealing with bullies. 
  • Approach the Bully – If you feel safe and confident, you can try approaching the person or persons bullying you. Make an attempt to tell them that their behaviour is unwanted and unacceptable. 
  • Get the Support You Need – Any decent workplace will have a way of filing complaints and resolving disputes. If the bully still doesn’t back down, seek help from a colleague, a manager, or your human resources department. Even if you don’t know anyone to talk to, there are support services available to help you, like Workclaims Australia. They can help you file a complaint and represent you.


Workplace bullying is a serious matter and is something to be concerned about. This type of destructive behaviour can come from anyone and be directed at anyone. If you happen to be a victim or you see someone being bullied in your workplace, this guide should give you an idea of what it’s like and what to do in that particular situation.

Workclaims Australia is here to help you solve any workplace problems you may have. We provide legal services to both employers and employees, from workers’ compensation to wrongful dismissal in Western Australia. Contact us today and book a consultation.

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