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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 January, 2004, 00:05 GMT
Blood boils in UK workplaces
David Brent from TV's The Office
Incompetent managers infuriate workers, the study says
Cheating, stealing, and "incredibly loud" staff are turning the UK's workplaces into hotbeds of anger, new research claims.

Anger at colleagues and incompetent managers is affecting productivity and causing people to threaten to resign or take time off for stress, the report says.

Occupational psychologist Jill Booth, who interviewed workers in the NHS, education, and shops, said she was "shocked" at the scale of anger among staff.

"People told me they were angry morning, noon and night," said Mrs Booth, a student at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

The most common cause was "immoral behaviour" such as lying, stealing or cheating.

I keep everything bottled in and then I get home and I'm like a lunatic
Angry worker

Some people complained managers exploiting their position by not doing their jobs properly or regularly turning up late for work was causing their blood pressure to rocket.

Anger levels often spilled over into people's private lives and some workers said they went home in a bad mood because of something that happened at work.

"The problem needs to be dealt with because it is causing people to feel depressed, stressed and disillusioned about their work," Mrs Booth said.

Occupational 'hazards'

A shop worker told Mrs Booth she was angry that a colleague had been stealing goods without getting caught while a nurse was threatening to resign because of the behaviour of a colleague.

A health worker interviewed for the study said of a colleague: "She is incredibly loud. When she comes into the office everything is disrupted, everything is disturbed."

A teacher, angered by a pupil, said: "All my family knew about him. I used to come home and that's all I'd talk about."

A worker angered by her manager said: "I don't really show anger when I am at work. I keep everything bottled in and then I get home and I'm like a lunatic."

The study, presented on Thursday to the British Psychological Society's Occupational Psychology Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon warned that anger among workers could have long-term consequences for companies.


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