How to deal with peer pressure in the workplace

Peer pressure is the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviours to conform to those of the influencing group or individual.

Unfortunately, peer-pressure doesn’t stop at school; it follows us into the workplace.

An example of peer pressure can be that a co-worker wants you to go out for drinks after work; however, you don’t want to. It may be junk emails circulating through the office that try and capture your attention or could be from a co-worker asking you to cover their shift. Most of the time, peer pressure won’t be directly from your colleagues but may be indirect. You don’t have to reply to the email circulating the office, but because everybody is doing it, you may feel obliged to do the same. So how can you build up the strength to stand up to peer pressure from your colleagues?

The minute you stop to ponder on the actions that you’re going to make because of peer influences is the moment that you will have the courage to stand up to them. Using your own thinking ability and knowledge and not relying on your co-worker’s unwise reasoning’s is the best way to overcome what it is you are feeling pressured to do. If a colleague or supervisor says anything to you that makes you feel pressured or anxious at work, you need to keep your cool and be upfront with them.