Bullying affects men and women differently. Whereas it often causes women to go on prolonged sick leave or use antidepressants, men often choose to leave the labour market altogether for a period of time, a new research has found.
The researchers said it was a surprise to learn that bullying does not seem to increase men’s sickness absence.
“In fact, it seems that men who are bullied are more likely than women to go to work even though they are actually sick,” said Tine Mundbjerg Eriksen, Assistant Professor at School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University in Denmark.
“At the same time, it appears that bullying affects men’s salary level negatively, which indicates that the bullying hampers their opportunities for pay increases and promotions,” she said.
One way of bullying is that your colleagues or your boss impede your ability to do your job properly, make changes to your work or hand the fun and important tasks to others, she explained.
In the study involving over 3,000 people in both public and private organisations, seven per cent of the respondents reported that they were being subjected to bullying. Of these, 43 per cent were men.
When it comes to the type and frequency of bullying, the research, published in the journal of Labour Economics, showed that men are just as exposed to work or personal-related bullying as women, but are actually slightly more exposed to physical intimidation than women.
“The million-dollar question is why men primarily react by leaving the workplace, while women react to bullying by taking prolonged sick leaves. If anything, this illustrates that men and women handle bullying differently,” Eriksen said.