How To Curb Harassment In The Virtual Office

The Hindu Business Line|April 28, 2020

How To Curb Harassment In The Virtual Office
Training and sensitisation are essential. Institute a strict dress code and chat etiquette to ensure professionalism during video calls
Anjali Varma

Working from home is now an accepted part of corporate life, thanks to the current lockdown. Corporate India has eased into the new normal almost overnight. While there were teething troubles arounds data privacy and cybersecurity, companies were quick to identify these concerns.

However, dimensions of workplace conduct and safety are equally important. With a large percentage of the urban working population, estimated upwards of three million, now working from home, employers must remain conscious of the potential blurring of lines between the home and workplace — obscuring an important element of professionalism and leading to newer dimensions around workplace harassment.

The Prohibition of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act, 2013, was enacted to ensure safe working spaces for women that respect their right to equality of status and opportunity. It defined the ‘workplace’ as “any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of employment, including transportation provided by the employer for undertaking such a journey”.

The POSH Act is clear that a workplace covers both the organised and unorganised sectors, including any work-related offsite, office party, get-togethers, social media groups.

Complex scenarios

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April 28, 2020