How to Avoid Desk Rage in the Workplace

Work relationships can be pleasant or very intense. Employers must be aware of “desk rage.” Just like road rage, desk rage can be deadly. Employees are overworked, underpaid, and stressed out to the max! Mix in a little economic uncertainty, debt, and family troubles into the pot and employers have a recipe for disaster in the workplace. Before employers know it, they have a mess that may not be easy to clean up with disciplinary action such as firing.

What is desk rage? People who come to work that are angry, grumpy, ill-tempered, insulting, or worse. Anything from acts such as impatience, yelling, gossiping, backstabbing, throwing things, stealing office supplies, and abusing sick days are part of desk rage.

What causes desk rage? Americans who are coping with woes of rising costs, debt, family problems, and job uncertainty suffer from desk rage. Employees with the least power are more than likely to show desk rage because they feel they are at the mercy of everyone else. Those who do not seek help to deal with their emotions in a more healthy way are a disaster waiting to happen.

What can employees and employers do about desk rage? Breathing and walking are great ways to “cool off” the emotions. Taking 10 deep breaths and focusing on each breath is a great way to calm down. Getting up and going for a walk is another technique that will help to curb desk rage. Not only is walking great exercise but it is a way for people to change their focus.

How to avoid desk rage? Change your thoughts, change your life. A job is just that, it’s a job. If employees feel that their “job” is their life then they have deeper issues to resolve. Don’t buy into the doom and gloom speak of others. Many people thrive in good and bad economic times. Choose to think your own thoughts.

Listening to and partaking in gossip will come back to haunt you. Just because some employees have gathered around the water cooler to talk about “Bob” does not mean you have to join in the conversation. Remember the saying, “what goes around comes around” and it will get you. Karma is powerful; we’re all in this together.

Another way to avoid desk rage is to have an “attitude of gratitude.” Employees could be grateful they have jobs because others have lost theirs. Just something to think about before performing an act of desk rage.

To learn more about what causes “desk rage” and how to prevent it, please visit and