Harassment in the digital age takes many different forms, but a large amount of the problems associated with it have stayed the same and moved over from pre-digital era workplaces.
What does harassment look like now? What are the top avenues for it to happen? And how can people combat it?
Harassment over company communication platforms
The New York Times discusses harassment in the digital workplace. Harassment typically happens through public or private methods of communication among staff members.
Many companies these days use company-wide communication platforms like Zoom, Slack and more in order to keep in touch with everyone at once. However, these platforms can also end up abused by workers in order to harass other employees.
For example, regarding sexual harassment, reported cases of exposure over video calls or through images have gone up in recent years. In addition, instances of attempts at using coercion or threats to get sexual favors out of other workers have also continued through private messaging platforms.
The damage gossip can do
Gossip can also easily occur through these same channels, which can eventually lead to a tarnished and hostile work environment for some or all of the workers. Gossip can spread through private or semi-private channels, altering the way that people behave toward others while on shift.
Even though the methods of harassment have changed, the manner of dealing with them remains the same, largely. Monitor company activity regularly, prevent problems from getting out of hand and take complaints of harassment seriously when presented with them.
Additionally, ensure that harassers get appropriate penalties for their actions or words if necessary, which can help maintain valuable workplace synergy and safety.