A very “ugly” study has found that unattractive workers tend to suffer more, and it’s absolutely due to their more attractive co-workers.
Results from a study appearing in the research journal Human Performance show that workers who are considered unattractive by their peers are likely to be belittled and bullied in the workplace.
“Frankly, it’s an ugly finding,” said the lead investigator on the study. “Although we like to think we’re professional and mature in the workplace, it can be just like high school in many ways.”
Being more attractive has been proven to translate into higher popularity in the school setting, but this is the first study to link good looks to cruelty in the workplace.
For the study, researchers surveyed 114 workers at a health care facility in the United States. The questionnaire asked about how their co-workers were cruel to them, which included saying hurtful things, making fun, and acting rudely.
Then, people separate from those surveyed judged the attractiveness of each individual from digital photos.
Key factors like gender and age were taken into account, but unattractive workers were still found to be treated far more harshly than attractive employees.
Researchers also collected info regarding how friendly each of the workers were from their spouses, partners, or close friends. Disagreeable workers, like unattractive employees, were treated more harshly than their co-workers.
The study did not seem to address how an unattractive yet affable co-worker was treated.
The study’s authors hope that being able to identify targets of bullying in the workplace can help managers monitor certain employees better and help prevent them from becoming victims to catty behavior.
Do you think that unattractive workers suffer more?
[Image via: ollyy / Shutterstock]