Yelling & Acceptable Workplace Behavior


In most workplaces, yelling is rarely appropriate behavior, particularly when it is motivated by anger or directed at another individual for the purpose of demeaning or intimidating him. Workers and managers who are unable to control their urge to yell at other people disrupt the cooperative and peaceful nature of a well-run workplace.


  • The acceptability of yelling in the workplace is dependent on the context in which it is done. If the staff is having a celebration for someone who has been promoted or is retiring, and someone gets a bit overexcited and yells, nobody is likely to be terribly upset. Similarly, if a person yells to warn someone of a danger, this is understandable. Yelling that is intended to disturb, demean, frighten or intimidate others is problematic and should not be tolerated by anyone in a workplace.


  • Yelling is sometimes an aspect of a bullying relationship. In this context, yelling is most frequently inflicted on employees by bosses who are easily frustrated or angered when people aren't doing a good job or following instructions. Some misguided bosses believe that yelling improves the situation, or they simply don't think about the consequences of their actions and yell purely out of anger. This usually results in employees who are either intimidated by or angry at their boss, and it contributes to high employee turnover because many employees will find a new job to escape an abusive boss.

Personal Boundaries

  • Refraining from yelling in the workplace is part of respecting the personal boundaries of other people. The most intrusive kind of yelling is angry yelling directed at another individual, but any kind of yelling in the workplace is bound to disturb other workers and make them feel that they are not being respected. Workplaces such as offices and libraries where silence is desirable for concentration are places where yelling is least appropriate. On a construction site or a sports field, yelling is not so disruptive, as long as it isn't done in a hurtful way.

Mutual Respect

  • Positive workplaces are built on a dynamic of mutual respect where workers and managers recognize everyone's need to function in an atmosphere of order, calm and predictability. In most workplace environments, yelling is not a part of this scenario, and it disrupts others' work and mental equilibrium. People who respect others refrain from yelling in the workplace, even if they are angry and feel like yelling. Exercising a certain level of self censorship helps to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect in which everyone can get their work done.

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