Employers can follow regulations and codes, but one of the biggest risks to a workplace is actually something that isn’t always properly addressed.

That issue is rudeness.

Whether it is walking by someone without saying hello or leaving someone out of after work drinks – rudeness can be found everywhere.

And it isn’t a minor problem, it is one of the biggest issues facing workplaces today. Especially when it comes to lack of productivity, where studies have shown that it can cost companies up to $14,000 per employee due to lost productivity.

Here are some of the major ways rudeness impacts the workplace.

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Health Issues

A join study from University of Calgary and London School of Economics and Political Science found that people who were treated rudely at work experience ‘higher levels of embarrassment and lower levels of belongingness.’ Those feelings transfer into feelings of job insecurity and extreme stress.

These can also create physical issues – increasing risk of chronic diseases, stomach problems, headaches and sleeplessness.

Destroys collaboration

Studies have shown that rudeness can hurt collaboration in the workplace, destroying workers ‘sense of psychological safety, and hampering team effectiveness.’ Workers can shut down without even realizing it as negative thoughts creep in.


A study from the University of Florida found that rudeness can spread like wildfire. Once someone perceives rudeness towards them, they are more likely to be rude in return. The rudeness can spread like a common cold.

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Leaders set the tone

When managers or leaders treat team members fairly and with respect, employees have been found to be more productive and even go above and beyond. The whole team also benefits when you talk to the whole team about civility or even sign up for training.

Union members always have the option to reach out to their shop steward or business agent if they are experiencing rudeness that is effecting their job performance, or mental or physical health. Being a part of a union means you are a member of a family, and you always have support.