Workplace Stress Causes Desk Rage in 14% of American Workplaces, Says New Study

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Verbal abuse falls 45% since 2000, according to psychologist Rachelle Canter, PhD.

Desk rage occurs in 14 percent of all American workplaces, according to a study of 506 American workers released today by Rachelle Canter, PhD, president of San Francisco career advisory firm RJC Associates, Inc. and author of "Make the Right Career Move: 28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job."

According to the study:

14% of American workers report incidents they would characterize as "desk rage" occurring at their workplace;

22% of American workers report having been driven to tears as a result of workplace stress;

16% of American workers report that company property has been damaged as a result of workplace stress;

9% of American workers report that physical violence has occurred at their workplace due to stress;

10% of American workers report a fear that their workplace environs might not be safe.

Canter's study, the most recent on desk rage, is the result of a random telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 506 employed adults 18 years and older living in private households in the continental U.S. conducted during the period March 9-12, 2007. The survey was conducted with the assistance of Opinion Research Corp. of Princeton, NJ, which conducts similar surveys for news organizations such as CNN.

"According to the survey, the incidents of desk rage remain flat since 2000," says Canter, "with 14% of American workplaces reporting incidents of desk rage in 2007, compared with 13% reporting desk rage incidents in 2000."

Continues Canter: "The biggest change in the workplace, according to this study, was in the percentage of workers reporting verbal abuse in their workplace. According to the survey, verbal abuse has fallen in the workplace by 45% since the year 2000. That's a dramatic fall."

About the author: Rachelle Canter, PhD, has a doctorate in psychology and is President of RJC Associates, a San Francisco-based consulting firm that provides career, executive, and team development services to corporations, professional service firms, and other organizations. She has spoken and written widely on career, executive and organizational development issues, and is the author of the just-released book "Make the Right Career Move." She can be reached at (415) 956 8438 or rjc @


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