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‘Office rage’ felt across Europe

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Being spoken down to by a boss or colleague is the main cause of work-related stress and anger in the office, a survey has found.

New research into the causes of anger felt by office workers in the UK and Europe, has revealed that long and pointless meetings are the key causes of frustration across European offices, whilst ill manners, being spoken down to and office politics really get UK office workers fuming.

The study of 3,000 European office workers, commissioned by Canon, also showed that eight out of ten office workers in the UK and Ireland had witnessed visible acts of anger. This, however, was overshadowed by workers in Italy, with 94 per cent of them admitting that displays of anger are commonplace in the office.

Occupational stress expert Lucy Beresford described these feelings of frustration as ‘office rage’. “For people to feel less stressed in the office, they need to feel more in control of their working life and working environment,” she said. “When this control is lost through external events such as a rude boss, sitting in a pointless meeting or a printer jam that no one wants to fix, it doesn’t take much for the average office worker to snap.”

The research also found that the UK’s most angry office workers are based in Cardiff, with 69 per cent admitting to angry outbursts, followed closely by Belfast and Birmingham (both 56 per cent). On the other side of the coin, workers in Dundee, Brighton and Newcastle were the calmest and least likely to snap.

“There is no doubt that office rage is on the increase, but a range of initiatives such as crisper meetings or interpersonal kindness could reduce stress levels and even extend the life expectancy of office equipment,” added Beresford.

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