If this is your first experience working remotely, you may still be getting used to the many ways in which it varies from working in an office among other people. And since this is something new, you might not know what to expect. You want to be respected, and you must respect your colleagues.
And for a manager, managing personnel who are located in different locations presents a range of issues. Making sure that everyone is functioning and doing their duties is of utmost importance. But there’s another obstacle to consider, and that’s making sure the workplace is secure and courteous, without any instances of sexual harassment or other types of discrimination as defined by the EEOC.
You are responsible for controlling not just the activities that take place in the office but also the interactions that take place inside the workplace, including those that take place in the homes of your workers. The fact that employees are working from home has not resulted in any changes to the legislation or the rules of your organization.
Here Are Four Causes Of Harassment In The Remote Workplace
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that harassment and discrimination in the workplace are only a concern when all of the workers are together in the same spot. In a setting where employees are far from one another, this issue may present itself with the same degree of difficulty, if not more so. This is due to the following four factors:
- When we’re at home, we may let our guard down and be more informal. Our actions are a direct reflection of how we are feeling. Because of this, we are sometimes unable to maintain the level of professionalism that is expected of us.
- Everyone is physically cut off from one another. It is more difficult for anybody to keep an eye on the conditions of the workplace. When a colleague misbehaves, it’s more probable that no one will intervene to correct the situation.
- When some employees bring their work home, they may, erroneously, believe that the regular workplace behavior norms do not apply to them since they are not physically present in the office.
- Last but not least, the strain and sense of isolation that some people experience when they work on their own might lead to improper behavior on their part.
You should make sure that everyone understands what is expected of them as the first step in preventing any complications. You may do this in a one-on-one setting with workers, particularly when there are issues that develop. You might also discuss it at a remote workplace harassment training meeting; the topics that should be covered there are as follows:
- Conducting an analysis of the relevant policies
- Discussing hypothetical situations that, according to your projections, might lead to difficulties
- Providing the opportunity for queries from team members
- Reminding employees they may come to management, HR, or administration with problems
A few basic guidelines should be communicated to all workers to ensure that they are aware of how to avoid being harassed when working remotely:
- To begin, everything that you’ve studied about unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace applies to situations that take place in a work-from-home setting.
- No matter what time of day or week it is, or whether you’re speaking to them in person, over the phone, or on the internet, always treat your employees with respect.
- The moment you become aware of an issue; you are obligated to take corrective action.
As a manager, you should think about having a brief coaching chat with an employee if you see something and believe it’s merely poor judgment or a lack of expertise. You may reroute the topic or notify people more explicitly that it is treading into hazardous waters if it becomes somewhat unsafe when you are at a meeting or participating in an online chat. You can do this when the conversation becomes risky.
3 Ways To Make the Environment of Your WFH More Secure
Here are three things you can do to make the environment in which you operate from home a secure one:
- Check to see that your background doesn’t reveal any information that you’d want to remain secret but may potentially be revealed. Consider using a virtual backdrop instead.
- Always present yourself in a professional manner. Even if you are at home, you are still engaged in your job. You may be business casual (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_casual) in dress, but you shouldn’t appear like you just left the beach, gym, or nightclub.
- It is essential that you maintain a businesslike demeanor throughout all of your conversations, whether they take place via email, text, or inside an application like Teams or Slack. When we consider our colleagues to be friends, we may allow our more relaxed and casual tendencies to surface in our online interactions with them.
The guideline is straightforward. The same rules apply to sending anything online if you don’t want to say it to or about the individual.