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What Are the Most Common Workplace Issues?

One of the most common issues in the workplace is gossip.
Communication between management and staff can become an issue in the workplace.
Bullying in the workplace can be an issue.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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An unpleasant workplace can be a cause of major stress and unhappiness for workers. In addition to making the workweek unbearable, the inevitable thought of Monday creeping closer can certainly follow stressed workers home over the weekend and ruin relaxation time. Understanding some common workplace issues can help give insight on improving the atmosphere at work. By the application of basic manners and common sense, many of these problems can be improved or avoided all together.

Gossip in the workplace is one of the most common and annoying problems. It's understandable to be interested in co-workers' lives; with many workweeks stretching beyond 40 hours, workers may see their colleagues more than just about anyone else. When gossip rages about sensitive issues, such as a co-worker's failing marriage or a possible workplace romance, however, it can become destructive and create a great deal of negativity. To help calm office gossip, employees should keep any overheard conversations or confidential admissions of other workers private and stay out of conversations where others are gossiping. If necessary, individuals can remind co-workers that none of them would probably enjoy being the subject of gossip.

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Communication between management and staff is the cause of a variety of workplace issues. If management is not open to listening or implementing solutions that would make life easier or more efficient for workers, it can be perceived as cold-hearted or uncaring, and lose the respect of the employees. If, on the other hand, workers do not give a manager an honest chance to lead the team and refuse to follow suggestions, the manager may become resentful and angry. In a workplace setting, it is vital that everyone feels that they have an arena to be safely and fairly heard. Management can go a long way to preventing communication breakdowns by setting team meetings and insisting on a respectful atmosphere for all involved.

One of the most dangerous problems in the workplace is office bullying. Workers may feel pressured by a group of colleagues or one specific member to avoid reporting issues or to take part in illicit activities, and that their career is at stake if they refuse. Bullying can easily progress to sexual and physical harassment, illegal work activities, and even violence. Although workers may be afraid to be a tattletale, it is important for the safety of everyone that bullying be immediately reported and handled at once. If management is not listening or takes part in bullying, employees speak to human resources staff or individuals in upper management, if necessary.

Issues that arise in the workplace are not altogether different than those experienced in any group setting from kindergarten onwards. Most revolve around a basic human desire to set up a social hierarchy and dominate, or at least have a safe position on the team. Respect, rules, and good manners are the weapons to dodge this kind of social structure. By ensuring common sense about behavior is applied in the workplace, most workplace issues will dissipate.

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Discuss this Article

wavy58
Post 7

@DylanB – My coworkers are bad about excluding people who have been there for years on the basis of how they look or act. We have one lady working with us who is obese, and many of my coworkers have treated her badly and shunned her.

Any time that people meet in groups and start whispering, you know they are up to no good. If everyone in the office could hear what they were saying, feelings would be hurt and possible fights might break out.

I think it's terrible when adults behave this way. I would expect this from teenagers, but it seems that people should grow out of this behavior over the years.

DylanB
Post 6

It takes a long time for my coworkers to accept a new person. They tend to gather in corners and whisper about the new hire for weeks before finally starting to include them in things.

I hate this, because I know how it feels to be on the outside. I always go out of my way to make the new person feel welcome.

Kristee
Post 5

All of my workplace issues and problems were related to being overloaded. I always thought that being the dependable and efficient one would be a good thing, but instead, it meant that everyone would bring more work to me, since they thought I could handle it.

No one ever stopped to notice the pile of work that was already on my desk. I hated to turn anyone away, but I had finally had enough. I talked to my supervisor and said that I needed the other designer to share my workload.

He told me flat out that the other guy just didn't provide the same quality of work in a timely manner. He said he would give him some smaller stuff to work on, but I would always be the one he came to with big projects.

I finally wound up leaving the job. The stress of having deadlines on several big projects at once was too much, and I felt I had been treated unfairly.

feasting
Post 4

I was the only woman in my workplace, and I had to listen to a bunch of guys talking vulgarly about women all day. They didn't respect the fact that I didn't want to hear it, and since the boss was in on it, I couldn't complain to him about it. I finally just got some headphones to drown them out and kept to myself all day.

mutsy
Post 3

Cupcake15-There are workplace issues that also involve hiring and firing an employee, and training.

Problems regarding training issues in the workplace don't allow the employees to do their job to the best of their ability. Traning programs vary.

Training can be in the form of computer-based modules or ongoing seminars in the workplace.

The American Society of Training and Development provides guidance regarding training problems and offers various training solutions to solve common employment and workplace issues.

cupcake15
Post 2

SauteePan- I agree that there should be a workplace policy against gossip,but there are many other personnel issues in the workplace.

Excessive tardiness is another workplace issue that disrupts the working environment.

When people have to wait on others to start a meeting is really disruptive to the working environment. This also leads to lower productivity because the employee is not working a full day.

SauteePan
Post 1

I agree that gossip can be detrimental to the workplace. This single issue can destroy employee morale and productivity.

Rather than focusing on the work at hand, employees are instead discussing personal issues that have nothing to do with their work.

It is best to have a no-gossip policy in order to have a truly respectful working environment. When employees are respected, they are usually more productive.

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