It was March 2020 when companies instructed their employees to work remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, at an early stage, everyone thought that it would be just a couple of months, but conditions remain the same and then companies decided to follow the pattern of getting work from home from their employees. And the result is that millions of employees are working remotely worldwide nowadays. But, of course, we know well that everything has pros and cons, and the same we found with remote working is Virtual Harassment.
Everyone is assuming that physical distance decreases the possibility of sexual Harassment or almost zero. But unfortunately, data is saying just the opposite of it and Harassment issues becoming bigger than imagination in remote working culture. So at this point, the authorities need to stop Harassment in the Remote Workplace by making some strict policies and doing diversity trainingto do their work with full efficiency and freely. So here we are discussing four steps to stop Harassment in the Remote Workplace that employers can follow and make a healthy working culture.
Step 1: Diversity Training
Generally, employers don’t take it seriously to do diversity training, but time has been changed. A virtual working environment made it important to do diversity training in the workplace. The aim is to be aware of diversity issues in the workplace and help interact with co-workers having different ages, nationalities, races, colours, languages, sexual orientation (LGBTQ+), status, skills, physical as well as mental ability, etc. By this training, employee encourages about acceptance of differences among co-employees.
Step 2: It’s time to Review your Current Harassment Policy
This time it becomes more important to review the current harassment policy of your company. Employers must have a strict, fair, detailed harassment policy that should be uniform to all employees whether they are working from the office or remotely. This policy must include proper guidelines in terms of emails, text, images, GIFs, clips, and social posts shared among employees during official communication. The policy should also have strict guidelines about communication over phone calls.
Here are some examples of behaviours that can lead to an antagonistic work environment –
- Sharing sexual image during communication, digitally or in print
- Call the co-worker with some unusual words like bae, boo, cutie, sexy, darling etc
- Doing naughty comment during chat, email or text
- Doing unusual gestures while video calling or conference calls
- Talking about each other personal life or lifestyle
Step 3: Confidential Channel
Employers need to attain their employee’s trust to create a mechanism through which any employee can directly report about such kind of harassment issues. At this point, employers need to take strict and speedy disciplinary action after getting the right proof against such an issue and keep it confidential.
Step 4: Train All Managers, Team Leaders and Employees
Now it’s time to train your employees, Team Leaders, Managers, and seniors in terms of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour during working culture, especially in remote working culture. Discuss no tolerance policy against Harassment with them, tell the value of diversity training in the workplace, company value, people value, and share the consequences of misconduct or virtual Harassment.
As the virtual working model is accepted at a big level worldwide, employers need to clarify to their employees that behaviour should not change while interacting online. Employees at each level must be aware of different types of harassment activities and have the courage to speak up freely against such misconduct. We must remind you that diversity training in the workplace is most compulsory this time so don’t ignore it. So follow these four steps to stop Harassment in the Remote Workplace.