Competition at Work

If you have experience working in an environment which involves other people within the same organisation or team, you are most likely to have encountered workplace competition. Whether one would want to admit it or not, competition exists in most organisations and corporate environments. Our natural evolution has developed certain survival instincts, which in turn make us competitive beings.

One place where the survival instinct kicks in is precisely at the workplace. In such environments, you will find people who compete with each other to constantly justify their existence and showcase superiority. In this article, we will discuss some of the outcomes of workplace competition.

Higher standard levels

Competition at the workplace does not need to be perceived as a negative thing. The high level of competition allows employees to aim for better standards. This creates a better workplace which constantly achieves better results. When people cannot compare and compete, they may become demotivated to reach higher standards and hence quality diminishes. When employees see figures that are in superior positions, they may work harder to emulate them and become better at what they do.

Workplace competition, on the other hand, can be detrimental for organisations, especially if taken to certain extents. We shall now discuss the potential disadvantages of competition at work.


If the level of competition becomes so high and tense, people may engage in conflict which is detrimental for the business environment. Such conflict may arise due to a toxic environment which could have been created because of excessive competition. These conflicts may lead to damaged relationships where people would not work productively together.

Teamwork diminishes

In an environment where everyone is competing against each other, it is extremely difficult to get things done as a team. People would be too busy watching their backs and making others look bad, instead of working progressively to achieve the organisation’s targets. The lack of trust would make it extremely difficult for anyone to take any initiative towards the collective good.

Organisational instability

When you have a company where people are at each other’s throats, the organisation can pass through periods of instability, making things extremely hard for all the other employees. People may engage in internal company politics in a bid to impose superiority and position themselves better for promotions or other company perks which may be available. All this comes at the organisation’s detriment, leading to significant hidden costs.

What are your views on workplace competition? Do you see it providing added value? Let us know in the comments section below.

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