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How does harassment look in WFH environments?

As the modern workplace continues to evolve and include more work-from-home situations and entirely virtual opportunities, the problems associated with in-person workplaces have evolved and changed as well.

Unfortunately, harassment still exists even in the changed new working environment. Thus, it is crucial for workers to understand what to look for in order to better protect themselves.

Forms of sexual harassment

Recently, the New York Times did an article focused on harassment in digital and virtual work environments. Harassment is an issue that has gotten a lot of media attention, especially in recent years. In particular, sexual harassment has captured a majority of the nation’s attention as more victims come out to discuss their experiences.

This harassment continues even in virtual environments. For example, some victims report a trend of perpetrators using video and photo attachments to send lewd and inappropriate images to their coworkers. Many will also abuse private channels of communication to attempt to solicit sexual favors or link inappropriate content while still on shift.

Bullying at work

In addition, private channels and chats also end up being used for “burn book” style harassment of other employees. People will spread rumors with malicious intent, or ridicule certain employees, sometimes for discriminatory reasons like sexual preference or race. The target of these rumors often experiences bullying or exclusion from the group at large due to the conversations happening behind their backs that they have no knowledge of.

However, it is easier than ever to record instances of harassment in virtual environments. Saving proof of harassment is simply one click away, and this compiled information can then get submitted as evidence when pursuing damages.