Peer Pressure At Work

Just when you heave a sigh of relief at having put behind you those years of dealing with peer pressure through school and college, it returns with renewed force at the workplace.

This time it’s from colleagues, the organizational culture, and sometimes from your alumni. Handling peer pressure can make or break one’s spirit at the workplace.

Coping with peer pressure is an integral part of professional life, regardless of where you work. You cannot avoid it because work life is essentially about teamwork and you want to be accepted by the people around you. Working with colleagues requires following a set of standard codes, norms, and practices.

Importance Of Learning How To Deal With Peer Pressure

When dealing with peer pressure, standing your ground and ensuring that you always think things through can help you turn the situation to your advantage. Learning how to handle peer pressure at work will help you control its influence on your actions and, at the same time, show people that you can effectively deal with stress. Coping with peer pressure improves your chances of achieving your goals and excelling in your career.

Handling Peer Pressure

  • You are not under any compulsion

One of the first lessons of dealing with peer pressure is to take a clear stand. If you feel something isn’t right, decide how you will deal with it and stick to your decision. Being unsure of yourself will only lead to stress and awkwardness while handling peer pressure.

Peer pressure does not come from any written policy, nor is it part of your job description. So you are under no compulsion to give into it.

  • You can control peer pressure

Accept peer pressure for what it is. Learn to see the difference between healthy peer pressure and unhealthy peer pressure. The pressure to stick to work ethic and deliver results are examples of positive pressure. However, giving in to peer pressure and getting into habits detrimental to your work regime may be a wrong move. Do things that are right for your personal growth by learning how to handle peer pressure at work.

  • Plan how to handle peer pressure

How to tackle peer pressure means being sensitive to its presence.  It could take the form of an invite to a post-work gathering of colleagues you are not comfortable with or a sarcastic reference to your habit of avoiding office gossip. Handling peer pressure requires you to be clear in your responses and present an assured persona. You don’t need to sound standoffish, but, at the same time, you should be clear about your likes and dislikes. This will attract independent-minded people into your circle of influence.

  • Seek positive vibes

Start by hanging around with people who don’t pressure you to do things. Your friends and acquaintances should accept you for who you are. If they have good sense, you’re more likely to be mindful of your mental well-being too.

  • Get on with life

A great way of handling peer pressure is to spend your time doing activities outside of work. You can pick up photography, go hiking, or join a sporting routine. Get involved with a theatre club, an NGO, or a social project that interests you. By taking up activities like these, you expand your horizons and meet new people.

  • Open up to peer pressure

Peers can also be a  force of change. Handling peer pressure can get you to do something you might not otherwise do.

Pranay was a late riser who never reached work on time. His manager was not overly concerned about it, as he made up by being a high performer at work. But Pranay’s tardiness made him the butt of his colleagues’ jokes.

It didn’t bother him initially but he slowly began feeling the pressure. Now, he could have stubbornly refused to amend his ways but he didn’t. Instead, Pranay altered his sleep cycle and started waking up early to reach office on time every day.


When we learn how to deal with peer pressure, we become aware of practices to focus better and reach our goals. By coping with peer pressure, we become responsible for our actions. Harappa Education offers an excellent course called Managing Teamwork that teaches you to harness your skills, navigate conflict, and encourage collaboration. The study also includes a section on the Bruce Tuckman model that deals with the four stages of team formation and growth.

At their very heart, workplaces are simply a network of teams working towards common goals and targets. Therefore, you must know how to tackle peer pressure, be a stand-out team player, and excel in your career.

Explore topics such as Peer Pressure & Types of Peer Pressure from our Harappa Diaries section and learn ways to work around with peer pressure.


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