Incivility at Work a Path to Changing Jobs or Returning to the Office

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Incivility at Work a Path to Changing Jobs or Returning to the Office
Éric Bernard has been a real estate talent hunter with Recrutement Performance since 2019. Passionate about culture and well-being in the workplace, he draws on more than 30 years as a commercial real estate professional in roles as manager, broker, lender and business development manager. He has a vast knowledge of the different trades in real estate and non-residential construction.

Article originally published on page 37 of Gestion Immobilière magazine.

The world of work is a place where individuals from diverse backgrounds come together to collaborate, innovate, and contribute to the success of their organization. However, despite this common goal, workplace incivility has become a concerning and pervasive reality. Professional interactions marked by a lack of respect, poor communication, and disrespectful behaviors can have a profound impact on employees, sometimes pushing them to consider a job change or question returning to the office.

Workplace incivility takes many forms, ranging from derogatory comments and disregard for others' opinions to openly hostile actions. The underlying reasons for these behaviors are varied and complex: job stress, increasing pressures, power dynamics, or poorly managed cultural differences. Regardless of the causes, the harmful effects of incivility are very real.

The consequences can be manifold and deep. On an individual level, employees exposed to uncivil behavior often experience increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Their self-esteem and motivation may also suffer, leading them to seriously consider changing jobs. The overall productivity of the company can also be affected because incivility disrupts collaboration, communication, and teamwork.

In such situations, some employees may consider changing jobs as a viable solution. By considering leaving their current positions, they often hope to find a more respectful and positive work environment elsewhere. However, it's essential to recognize that changing jobs is not always the only solution. Incivility issues exist in various organizations, and employees may face the same challenges in their new roles. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to take proactive measures to address this problem.

This is where the concept of returning to the office comes into play. With the emergence of new forms of work, such as remote or hybrid work, some people have considered not returning to the physical office. However, returning to the office can be seen as an opportunity to create a healthier and more respectful work environment. Companies have the chance to reinvent their workspaces and cultures to promote respect, open communication, and collaboration while reducing the incidence of incivility.

To implement meaningful change, companies can adopt several approaches. First and foremost, it is essential to raise awareness among employees about the harmful effects of incivility and promote a culture of respect from the top of the organization. Leaders play a crucial role in modeling positive behaviors and establishing standards for healthy communication. Additionally, training in interpersonal communication and stress management can help employees better handle conflicts and foster positive interactions.

Policies of zero tolerance for incivility can also be put in place to make it clear that such behaviors will not be tolerated. Employees should feel safe reporting incidents of incivility without fear of retaliation. Implementing confidential reporting mechanisms contributes to this transparency.

Finally, the design of workspaces can also play a significant role. Environments that encourage collaboration, creativity, and well-being promote positive interactions among employees. Relaxation areas, open workspaces, and meditation facilities contribute to reducing stress and fostering more harmonious relationships.

In conclusion, workplace incivility is a complex problem that can have profound consequences for individuals and organizations. While some employees may consider changing jobs as a solution to this problem, returning to the office offers an opportunity to create a more respectful and positive work environment. This requires sincere commitment from leaders and employees to promote open communication, mutual respect, and collaboration. By working together to eliminate workplace incivility, companies can create spaces where employees have the opportunity to thrive and fully engage, thereby avoiding the constant need to seek a new professional start and promoting the return to the office.

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