A study of online behavior shows that cyberbullying is even worse in the workplace than it is at school.
Dr. Christine Sprigg, Dr Carolyn Axtell and Sam Farley of the University of Sheffield, together with Dr. Iain Coyne of Nottingham University, will unveil their work at a seminar during the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) annual Festival of Social Science this week.
Most studies focus on children and teens in school. This one looked at the workplace, where online technologies of communications are becoming more important than ever before.
The researchers looked at three surveys of employees at universities in the U.K. Of the 320 people who responded to the survey, about eight out of ten had experienced cyberbullying behaviors on at least one occasion in the previous six months. Those behaviors include being humiliated, ignored or gossiped about.
The results also showed 14 to 20 per cent experienced them at east once a week - not unlike what kids get at schools off-line.
Bullying at work can hurt job satisfaction and increase mental strain, the researchers said.
Is Cyber Bullying Illegal?
The online nature of the bullies may also affect the reporting of such behavior. The study found that people who witnessed online bullying seemed to suffer fewer ill effects than those who saw it in the "real world." That may make them less likely to tell anyone about it.