Let’s start off on the right foot
“There are all sorts of people telling us what to do when really what we need is space to work out who to be.”—Elliot Page
Due to the growth of remote work, online workplace harassment is on the rise and tends to disproportionately impact vulnerable segments of the workplace population.
Yes, and many employers are unaware of the extent of the issue. For example, a 2020 survey of women revealed that 4/10 had experienced online harassment from coworkers and 7/10 reported that their employers didn’t do enough to protect them.
Indeed. And it doesn’t just have to be coworkers. Whether employees are targeted online by strangers or coworkers, the effects can be catastrophic for mental health, overall productivity, and trust.
Aren’t there HR videos for this?
Yes, many employers do in fact have training for best online etiquette, which is good. However, despite training, many online harassment instances go unreported. What’s more, the law might be dropping the hammer on organizations who want to ignore the issue.
What do you mean?
Well, courts are increasingly expecting employers to intervene when they learn of work-related harassment spilling into the online space, even if the attack was carried out off the job and on private equipment.
So, no work/life separation?
Not for the internet, the internet has no boundaries. Which bytes.
Thinking policy is in my future.
You got that right. Every organization should have a clear anti-harassment policy that covers both offline and online harassment. The policy should outline what constitutes online harassment, what employees are expected to do if they or someone they work with is harassed (including who to report to internally), and the consequences of harassing a colleague.
Not so fast. Must stress the fact that a lot of harassment at work happens to already vulnerable populations like the LGBTQ+ community, women, and people of color. Be sure you stress proper training and policy especially at the manager-level. Just like a denim jacket, good policy never goes out of style.
Further reading: 4 Ways to Make Your Workplace Equitable for Trans People.
Totes quotes: “We’re deeply, deeply affected by our social environment, and if we are not in a workplace where we acknowledge and try to address those inequalities then it becomes very difficult for people with marginalized backgrounds to work there.” —Meredith Talusan, author and journalist.
Latest workplace trend is WFNH or, Work From Near Home, may be better for overall productivity and work/life balance.
What in the flying fritters does that mean?
Johnny boy preferred to write on his fishing boat and Maya preferred to rent hotel rooms with a specific request to take out all the art, plants, or any other distractions. Also, the guy that wrote Jaws, Peter Benchley, preferred something a little clangey-er.
Nope. He penned the thriller from the clanging back room of a furnace factory.
That’s a whole other level.
So extra. But they’re on to something. Working close to home may beat actually working from home.
First, let’s do a thought experiment. Or, better yet, you can do this for real, in your own home right now. First, walk out of your office (or dining room) and walk past your laundry bin. What do you think of? Maybe you’re a freak and you get calm b/c you’ve already done all your laundry and you’ve never experienced the very difficult decision to either go commando or just do the laundry and probably do the commando thing for like, way too long, and then a cycle of shame and guilt overwhelm you at the sight of that overflowing laundry basket and then…
Umm, sorry I stepped into that one.
(Panting) yes, sorry, trigger alert. As, um, showcased above, many people can often be distracted by inanimate objects in their homes because we, as humans, are association-making machines. Which can make maintaining a professional focus very difficult in a non-professional setting.
So, back to the office then?
Actually, no. The office has its own set of endless distractions, and this year has made crystal clear to many workers how much time and sanity they lose going into the office every day. (Trigger: traffic). The solution? WFNH.
Ok, I’ll bite.
Finding a third space, with limited associations and that’s close to home (this is key) to work a couple days a week (like a coffee shop, library, or shed) can be very beneficial to productivity. This productivity hack isn’t new, hello WeWork, but if organizations consider a subsidy for employees to truly work from anywhere, they will most likely be rewarded with happier, more productive employees.
Totes Quotes: “If an organization plans to allow remote work, the extra cost to subsidize the ability of workers to escape household distraction will be more than recouped in both the increased quality of work produced and the improved happiness of the employees, leading to less burnout and reduced churn. Strictly from the perspective of dollars and cents, W.F.N.H. is likely a superior policy to W.F.H. It’s an up-front investment that promises strong returns in the long run.” —Cal Newport, professor of computer science at Georgetown University
Further reading: Do this to break up the monotony of remote work.
Not having free time is killing your growth and productivity.
lol @free time.
Yes, it does exist. Maybe you’re stuck in guilt trip world, where taking a break seems unimaginable. But here’s the truth, the rise and grind grind grind method of work is unproductive.
What's the alternative?
Schedules. Most people think taking breaks is spontaneous, but the best way to stop is to plan accordingly. Here’s an example. Usually, when nighttime rolls around, your circadian rhythm and body know without consciously thinking that it’s time to sleep. You’re training your body and mind to anticipate shutting down. Creating a similar routine for rest and breaks can be helpful.
Don’t sass! It works. Blocking out time on your schedule specifically for relaxation and reflection can help create a healthy habit within your mind. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. If you are energized, you are more likely to act and be bold when you experience a setback or moments of opportunity.
Good! One more thing. Don’t get too OCD when it comes to your new habit. Too much rigidity is the enemy of a lasting habit. Give yourself some flexibility and grace, and don’t blast off to guilt trip world. We learned last week about the ineffectiveness of self-criticism.
Further reading: “Tiny Habits” Are the Key to Behavioral Change .
Now a break from the news…
Here’s something to…
- Read: Making your LGBTQ+ employees feel seen and supported.
- Cook: Veggie magic tricks you never knew. I beet you’ll love ‘em!
- Consider: 6 stories on new phases of the talent war.
- Take note: The difference between DEI words and actions.
- Watch: These shows for when you’re feeling anxious.
- Talk to: Woebot.
- Explore: A field guide for fledgling birders.
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