An Australian employment tribunal has ruled that “unfriending” someone amounts to workplace bullying.
In this case a row developed between two people in an estate agent’s about a lost sale after which the owner’s wife, Lisa Bird, stopped saying “good morning” to her colleague Rachael Roberts who had worked there for ten years. Roberts had already complained to the boss that she wasn’t getting a fair share of her properties displayed in the front window. After that the boss’s wife accused her of being “a naughty little schoolgirl running to the teacher”.
Miss Roberts immediately checked her Facebook account to see if Mrs Bird had posted any comments about the row and saw that she had deleted her as a friend. (At this point I’m thinking is that what intelligent adults actually do at work? Check their Facebook accounts?)
Anyway the tribunal said that the act was “indicative of unreasonable behaviour” and ruled in Miss Roberts’ favour. Mrs Bird had “behaved in an unreasonable manner” and shown “a lack of emotional maturity“. I’d love to have eavesdropped on the conversation between Mr and Mrs Bird after that decision!
Once again Facebook has been someone’s downfall. What happens when Facebook introduces its “dislike” icon?
Save Facebook for your personal life, if you need it,and don’t assume all your work colleagues are friends
A survey of 2,000 British office workers found the usual suspects and more:
- colleagues talking loudly on the phone
- being copied into pointless e-mails
- arguing about air-conditioning ( battle of the sexes in my experience)
- smelly colleagues
- the phone call 1 minute before the end of the day (as if anyone actually answers those)
- staff being blocked from certain websites by the company (tough, it’s the company’s time you’re wasting doing your on-line shopping or using comparison sites)
- colleagues who booked school holidays too far in advance (blame management or the system that allows it)
- diet bores
- people parking badly in the car park
- colleagues arriving late and leaving early (again management’s fault for not confronting such staff)
- people singing at work
- people who made a drama out of everything
- colleagues who never admit they are wrong (20% of people in survey identified this)
Personally I would include:
- people bringing smelly food into the office,
- people using other people’s (clean) cups and crockery because they can’t be bothered to wash their own,
- people who leave the photocopiers out of paper, and
- people stealing other people’s food and provisions from the communal fridge.
- In this survey only 20% of people said they had actually confronted their colleagues and then only in a jokey way (a clear case for assertiveness training I think).
More seriously the people in the survey were fed up with heavy workloads, not being appreciated, and poor wages.
The recession meant that many people who would have moved jobs if treated badly had to stay put. Now the recession is officially over that may change, certainly surveys asking about intent to move in the last few years suggest that night be the case.
Some of these complaints are down to poor management or managers without the skills to deal with these issues before they become a problem.
Not being appreciated is one of the negative aspects of work. Saying thank you doesn’t cost a lot after all.