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Build Your Career Office Life

Office Rivals? Don't Let Them Drag You Down

Office Rivals? Don't Let Them Drag You Down
Most employees say office rivalries hurt their job performance. / Credit: Rivalry image via Shutterstock

Your office rivalry is likely causing you more harm than good.

The majority of U.S. workers say the competition they have with co-workers or bosses has hurt their job performance, according to a new study from the online jobs site Monster. Specifically, 55 percent of those who have a workplace rivalry said it has created undue stress and reduced their productivity, while 20 percent said it has gotten them into trouble with management.

Just 6 percent of those surveyed said competing with someone in the office inspires them to do their best work.

Some rivalries get so bad that employees look for work elsewhere. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed have considered leaving their jobs because of office rivals.

Employees named a few ways they deal with a workplace rival that causes them stress, including working hard and focusing on their goals, talking about the situation with their managers, and learning new skills to outshine the competition.

Since companies work hard to hire the best talent available, rivalries are bound to occur when similarly skilled and motivated individuals work together, said Mary Ellen Slayter, career advice expert for Monster. However, she said office competition doesn't have to harm a workplace.

"Balance is key," Slater said. "Let workplace competition motivate you to perform your best, but don't get distracted by jealousy."

Slater advised employees to counter competitive tensions by finding common ground through sports, shared hobbies or just having a drink after hours.

"If you can't get the tension under control, find ways to distance yourself from your adversary," Slater said. "Explore your options — from switching desks to switching companies — and remember that living, and working, well is the best revenge."

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.