I do not believe anyone participating in the autumn SAN conference left there feeling unmoved. The day’s last speaker, Emilia Åhfelt Dimitriadis, talked about how she had been subjected to sexual harassment by her closest colleagues while she was a UN soldier in Kosovo.
She finished her presentation by asking if anybody recognized what she was talking about, and a surprisingly large number of people in the audience mumbled yes as an answer. SAN news decided to look more closely into the issue of offensive behaviour at work, and you can read the results on pages one to three.
Among other facts we found out that almost 1 in 10 employees has been subjected to some form of bullying. The figures are probably even larger since there are almost always unrecorded cases in this type of study. The most common answer to the question of what makes people enjoy their work is their colleagues. Not the salary, not the working hours, but their workmates.
It is easy to understand that people who are harassed and ignored must feel bad. Such situations may of course have far-reaching negative consequences for the person in question, but also for others in the work team and for production. A work team in which there is bullying cannot operate optimally and if the personnel group is not working smoothly it will reduce the efficiency of work. In other words there are many reasons to work against bullying, and in this we all have our responsibility – we are actually each other’s work environment!
And now for something completely different. As many of you probably already know, in conjunction with the autumn conference SAN generally awards a prize to a marine person with a particularly great interest in the work environment. Although it is still early days, we would like to take the opportunity to encourage our readers to submit their proposals for suitable prizewinners. Mail a couple of lines to the secretary at SAN, Eva Ohlsson (firstname.lastname@example.org), and she will make sure that your proposal is taken care of.
Enjoy your reading!
Linda Sundgren/Editor, SAN News