University of Aberdeen professor Rhonda Flin writes in the British Medical Journal that work environments that include arguments and rude comments cause people to lose concentration and increase their likelihood of making mistakes.
The most recent and widely publicized example of a hostile work environment impacting employee concentration is the incident where two Northwest Airlines pilots who overshot their airport by 150 miles while in the midst of a “heated discussion.” The pilots, on their way from San Diego to Minneapolis with 147 passengers on board, were so involved in their argument over airline policy that they lost focus (and their way) until a cabin crew member alerted the flightdeck.
Flin’s study, conducted among college students, repeatedly showed decreased performance levels among those who had been subjected to rude comments or simply overheard rude comments. Reportedly one in ten U.S. workers witness rudeness in the workplace every day and researchers say that 48% of employees who are the targets of rudeness, reduce their work effort. It’s no wonder, rampant rudeness in the workplace, especially at the hands of a bad boss, demoralizes workers. And an unmotivated, unappreciated employee means decreased productivity for both employee and employer.
Read more about Flin’s study here at Inc.com.