Bullying using e-mails, texts or web-postings to abuse people is as common at the workplace as ‘conventional’ bullying at schools. According to a recent study on occupational psychology, the way cyber bullying influences both the victim and witnesses is more hidden at the workplace. The study included three separate surveys among employees in several universities in Britain, asking people about their experiences with cyber bullying, according to a statement by researchers at Sheffield and Nottingham Universities.

“We gave people a list of what can be classed as bullying, such as being humiliated, ignored or gossiped about, and asked them if they had faced such behavior online and how often,” said researcher Iain Coyne. Of the 320 people who responded to the survey, around eight out of 10 had experienced one of the listed cyber bullying behaviors on at least one occasion in the last six months. The results also showed 14 to 20 percent experienced them on at least a weekly basis — a similar rate to conventional bullying.

“Overall, those that had experienced cyber bullying tended to have higher mental strain and lower job satisfaction,” Coyne said. “In one of our surveys, this effect was shown to be worse for cyber bullying than for traditional bullying.”

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