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Online workplace harassment is on the rise

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | Sexual Harassment

If your working life in Hawaii has changed significantly since 2020, you’re not alone. Since businesses started going remote, holding online meetings and not requiring employees to show up at the office, work has been very different.

There are a lot of benefits to doing our work remotely as well as a lot of drawbacks. One thing that hasn’t gotten any better because of the changes is workplace harassment. Although workers and employers are separated from each other physically, stinging comments and biased snubs are still causing harm.

More stress

A 2020 survey by Project Include found that employees experienced significant increases in harassment that was based on age, gender and race. Ellen Pao, the CEO of Project Include, blames increased stress for the uptick in workplace harassment. Coworkers have been unable to bond in real life and work out their differences personally, so a lot of negative energy is showing up in online communications.

More anonymity

Pao said that remote work also allows for a greater degree of anonymity, which can increase toxic behavior. There is a lack of connection between coworkers, so coworkers may be more willing to cause emotional harm to each other. Employers who engage in sexual harassment or bullying may not have to face their victim in person.

There’s a record of almost everything now

While you may not have to confront your coworkers in person over mean emails, those create a record of harassment that is hard to deny. One thing that makes workplace harassment very different these days is that there is now a digital record of pretty much everything, including negative interactions.