WORKPLACE, Bullying, return to office

Nearly 40% Of Gen Z Workers Prone To Workplace Bullying As Return To Office Rises

Gen Z workers feel the impact of workplace bullying as return-to-office increases.

As return-to-office (RTO) trends this year continue to exceed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, many American workers are being welcomed back with workplace bullying.

This is unusually true for Gen Zers, who report that behavior more than other employees. Almost four in 10 adults—38%— between 18 and 24 reported they have experienced bullying since going back to the office. To boot, 45% of them have witnessed “creepy” behavior since making the transition.

The findings are from a survey of nearly 600 workers at companies that shifted to remote work during the pandemic but now mandate in-office presence at least once weekly. The survey was intended to measure whether the employees were confronting a toxic workplace climate.

The menacing practice is surfacing as nine in 10 companies anticipate mandating that employees return to the office by late this year, according to ResumeBuilder. Some 30% of workers disclosed in the latest survey that the company culture has been toxic since the RTO policy was issued.

While men and women indicated recognizing bullying and creepy behavior at similar rates, Gen Zers were strikingly more likely to disclose such incidents.

In a news release, ResumeBuilder’s Resume and Career Strategist Julia Toothacre shared why Gen Z reported bullying or creepy behavior at higher rates.

“I think Gen Z is more aware of what it looks like than previous generations. Gen Z is self-aware, protective, and well-versed in therapy language.” She continued, “While older generations were told to just deal with it and rarely went against the organization, Gen Z will leave if they aren’t treated well.”

Matt Erhard, managing partner at the recruiting firm Summit Search Group, also reflected on this.

“It is very possible that other generations are experiencing bullying or toxicity at the same rates as Gen Z professionals, but Gen Z is simply more likely to call it out. I find Gen Zers have a lower tolerance for this type of behavior than older workers. They are also more dubious of the traditional workplace model overall.”