Over the last couple of years, many New Yorkers have shifted from an office work environment to working remotely from home. While these arrangements have several benefits, you could still find yourself battling some of the same issues you may have faced at the office, such as workplace harassment.
What does harassment against remote workers look like?
Though you may have physical distance between yourself and your colleagues, staying connected through video chats, emails, and phone calls is important in a work-from-home arrangement.
As a result, you could expose more of your personal life to your colleagues than you think. The boundaries you may have in person can evaporate in a virtual environment. Harassers capitalize on these vulnerabilities in several ways, including:
- Calling or sending requests for video chats during off-hours
- Requesting that you show them your home or personal items
- Making unwelcome comments about your appearance
- Sharing explicit messages or images
- Sending offensive videos or emails to a group
These and other inappropriate actions can rise to the level of harassment and take a tremendous toll on your personal and professional well-being. Thus, if you feel that someone you work with is harassing you, whether it be in-person or remotely, take it seriously and know your options for protecting yourself.
Addressing harassment in a work-from-home environment
If you are like 38% of workers who are experiencing workplace harassment remotely, there are crucial steps you can take to protect yourself.
First, report the harassment immediately. Review your employee handbook or talk to your manager to determine the proper channels for making such a report.
Second, document as much harassment as you can. Keep emails, record your video chats and phone calls with the harasser, and record the times and dates of any inappropriate behavior.
Finally, seek legal guidance from an attorney. You may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages and other remedies to help you cope with the fallout of your experience.