The "bad boss" has become a comedic part of work culture, permeating movies and television, but when you actually work for a bad boss, there's nothing funny about it.
Researchers from the Harvard Business School and Stanford University meta-analyzed the results of more than 200 studies to better understand the effects of stress in the workplace. They found that worrying about losing your job makes you 50% more likely to experience poor health and that having an overly demanding job makes you 35% more likely to have a physician-diagnosed illness.
Job insecurity and unrelenting demands perfectly characterize the environment created by bad bosses, and the negative health effects measured by the Harvard and Stanford researchers are as bad as what are seen in people who are exposed to significant amounts of second-hand smoke.
Bad bosses are more common than you think. Recent research from the American Psychological Association reported that 75% of American workers identify their boss as the worst and most stressful part of their job and 60% of US workers would take a new boss over a pay raise.
"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives." — Theodore Roosevelt
It's obvious that bad bosses have a disastrous impact on their employees' health and productivity, so what do people working for bad bosses do about it? Not much.