Workplace Bullying Happens Online Too

Workplace bullying happens online, too. Bullying complaints are up 44 percent over last year as organizations struggle to adapt their anti-bullying tools and policies to the new way of working. Increased remote work has shown that some organizations did not fix their bad workplace culture. Instead, they could simply keep bullying down when everyone was in the office.

Finding new tools to suppress online bullying might be possible, but that is just another temporary solution. The only real solution is to change workplace culture, so bullying is not tolerated.

If you are being bullied online at work, your organization has a bad culture. Fixing culture is hard and takes a long time. Finding a new place to work is much faster and easier.

Have People Around You

Are you as productive when working from home? Many people feel they are not, and compensate by working even more hours. The numbers show that the time we save by not commuting to work has become extra work hours, not extra free time.

If you feel your productivity is dropping when working from home, spend part of your workday working together with someone else. You do not have to work on the same thing, and you don’t even have to know the other person. If you take your laptop to a local cafe or co-working space where other people are working, you will work harder. It is exactly the same effect as when people exercise harder in the gym than they do at home. Get out of the house for part of your work-from-home days.

Uses for Your Bed

You should only use your bed for two things, and working isn’t one of them. Even if you your partner has already occupied the kitchen table for their important zoom meeting, find someplace else. It might feel nice and cosy to cuddle under your blanket in bed with your laptop, but don’t do it.

Firstly, the ergonomics of sitting in bed are horrible. Everything is too soft and you are unable to sit with a straight spine. Secondly, you don’t want to associate your bed with working. If you do, you are setting yourself up for sleep problems. (And by the way, don’t watch TV in bed, either.)

Working with people in all kinds of situations, many of them trauma victims, I usually don’t give strict guidelines. But this is one of the few. Don’t ever work in bed.

Improve your Workspace

Just like many other places, we’re seeing increased coronavirus-based restrictions here in Denmark. We’re not going back to normal for a while, which also means that you will probably be working from home for weeks or months yet.

You probably set up a home workspace back when you started working from home, but take a look at it again. Can you make some improvements to your chair, your desk height, the placement of your keyboard and mouse/trackpad, or something else? During your next break, google “home working ergonomics” and find an improvement tip to implement this week.

Talk to Someone

To stay healthy, you need to communicate with someone. Working from home removes the small talk that is part of a day in the office, and starting a video meeting is like going into a meeting room: The setting limits off-topic conversation.

If you live with someone, make sure to create time for conversation and don’t just spend the evening slumped in the sofa with a screen each. If you live alone, call someone on the phone for a chat. Again, video feels like a meeting. Just use an old-fashioned voice call. You can even call people while you take a walk and do two good things for yourself at the same time.