Remote Workplace Harassment Has Become An Issue.
As companies continue to explore the opportunities that remote work presents, working from home has become more common.
For some employees, this has meant an opportunity to reduce their commute time and costs while also saving on petrol and other expenses associated with commuting to work every day. For others, it’s been a challenge as they attempt to manage remote workplace harassment. Keep reading for information on why this is happening and how you can address it in your company.
What is remote work?
Remote work is any form of employment that doesn’t require employees to be in the office regularly. Although it’s commonly associated with employees who work from home, remote work can also include telecommuting, working from a co-working space, or working remotely with a distributed team.
In most cases, remote work is chosen by employees, but there are circumstances in which it may be recommended by a doctor due to an employee’s health condition or disability. Whatever the reason for working remotely, there are certain challenges that come with the territory.
The problem with remote work
Remote work can be a great way for employees to build a strong work-life balance, but it can also put them at risk for workplace harassment. This is because employees who work remotely tend to have less frequent and less direct contact with managers, coworkers, and other employees than their in-office counterparts do.
This lack of direct and regular contact in the workplace can make it harder for employees to recognize and report harassment. Additionally, remote work can be challenging for employers who may not have the resources or knowledge to keep up with different state laws related to workplace harassment. For example, in many states, employers must have a written policy against harassment as well as a procedure employees can use to report harassment.
If a company doesn’t have these policies and procedures in place, or if they aren’t following them correctly, their employees may not know how to report workplace harassment.
Strategies for combating remote work harassment
Thankfully, there are a few strategies you can use to combat remote work harassment. They include:
Offer trainings and educate employees on harassment – The best way to avoid workplace harassment is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. For this reason, employers should offer trainings and education on harassment and have regular discussions about appropriate workplace behavior. If you have employees who work remotely, you should include them in these discussions as well.
Have clear policies and procedures in place – Make sure you have policies and procedures in place related to harassment, including a clear procedure for reporting abuse.
Have a robust employee communication strategy – Make sure your employees know how to communicate with you and one another. Include information in your employee handbook on how to use communication tools like chat, email, and texting.
Conduct regular audits to monitor remote work – Regularly audit the work your remote employees are doing, whether that be checking their work, reviewing their work product, or both.
Consider using an abuse-prevention software – A remote work abuse-prevention software can help you identify and report instances of harassment.
For an informative video on workplace harassment click here.
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