These days, more and more workplaces have shifted to virtual work environments. Because of this change, new problems surface while old ones fade away. Some problems linger but change shape to suit the new environment.
This is the case with harassment, which continues to keep a foothold in work environments despite everyone’s best efforts to stamp it out. But what does this harassment look like in virtual spaces?
How has it stayed the same?
The New York Times discusses the ways that harassment at work changes in virtual environments. In some ways, it has stayed the same. For example, much of the slander that occurred before can still take place in written format. Those who threatened or coerced victims in situations of sexual harassment still have the avenues needed to do such things, as they do not require face-to-face interactions.
How has it changed?
In other ways, the culture of harassment has changed to suit the virtual dynamic. Some unique forms of harassment that have developed include:
- Sending lewd pictures through text message attachments
- A perpetrator exposing themselves on video chat
- Linking inappropriate sites during work hours or through work emails
- Bullying through the use of chat groups that exclude the target
On the plus side, technology has also made it easier to document instances of bullying, abuse and harassment. It is easier than ever to save screenshots of such incidents, which a victim can then use when making reports to a higher authority.
This is one of the most surefire ways to combat instances of harassment even in the virtual workplace. When faced with such mistreatment, document it and then consider seeking legal aid to determine what to do next.