Why an Unsolved Workplace Conflict Could Lead to Disaster

Published on 31/12/2021

Think of the last time there was an argument in your household. Can you remember the atmosphere in your house? Did it feel negative and unhealthy? Probably. That’s exactly what conflict does to an office.

It’s very normal for employees to misunderstand each other or perhaps even have a small fallout occasionally. When working in an open plan office, stress can cause people to snap at others when they don’t really mean to. For the most part, these small issues are ironed out very quickly and forgotten about. But what happens if the conflict doesn’t get sorted out and instead it is left to fester and grow?

Communication is vital whenever a conflict arises. Everyone needs to remain calm, remember the bigger picture, and put small things aside. But we’re dealing with human beings here and it’s not always easy to do that.

By being aware of the potentially disastrous effects of allowing a conflict to remain unsolved, we can all do our best to make sure that small issues are resolved quickly.

So, what are those potential effects?

Morale drops drastically, along with productivity

Working in a negative environment can be pretty toxic over the long-term. It can drag people down and it’s a clearly detectable vibe whenever you walk into an office. When sitting at your office desk all day long, you’re going to feel pretty worn out by the toxic vibes by the end of your shift.

Employees feel like they need to pick a side

When two or more employees are having a conflict, it’s possible that their colleagues may feel like they need to “pick a side”. That can cause major divisions in the office and can drastically affect collaboration.

Everyone is distracted and mistakes are made

The above two points make it very easy for people to start making uncharacteristic mistakes, simply because they’re so distracted by what is going on. Even a negative feel to the office can have this effect. Mistakes can cause major issues for a business and it's likely that the customer will start to see the effects of the conflict, second-hand.

Employees could decide to leave, in order to escape the tension

Eventually, if the conflict remains unsolved over the long-term, your employees make decide that they’re better off leaving and working elsewhere. An environment of constant fights and arguments isn’t a great place to be and it’s going to wear away and their mood and make them want to go elsewhere.

These effects need to be avoided. So, make sure that you iron out conflicts as they arise and if you can’t do so, that you seek out help from management or supervisors, to mediate and resolve the issue that way.

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