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Are private chatrooms at work a problem?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Workplace Discrimination

As the age of technology continues to grow and stretch far beyond what most people may have previously imagined, it provides more solutions and convenient answers to problems in everyday life.

However, it also contributes to a rise in unique, technology-age issues at the same time. The digital hybrid workplace is one such area where this blending of benefits and drawbacks is the most visible.

Harassment in the digital age

The New York Times takes a deep dive into changing work environments in the digital age. Especially in the last couple of years, more workplaces have turned to fully digital environments. Even now as things begin to shift back to a previous status-quo, many of these places have maintained a hybrid digital environment for flexibility, convenience, cost-cutting and more.

However, harassment continues to pose a major issue even in these digital or hybrid environments. Many different factors contribute to these issues, such as private chatrooms.

The problems with chatrooms

A private chatroom feature on a work communication program allows many people to create a group that others who do not have an invitation cannot see. While this is theoretically good for certain purposes such as keeping the lid on secret projects, it can also create a potentially toxic and exclusionary environment.

Some individuals bullied in modern workplaces have stated that they feel isolated and distanced from others due to their exclusion from group chats. Some even end up bullied behind closed doors without even knowing about it, with coworkers and even employers talking about them and spreading rumors behind their backs.

This can escalate to the point that it creates a toxic work environment, at which point a worker may have the option of seeking compensation.