Cyberbullying: A Modern-Day Workplace Dilemma

Technology has dramatically changed the way we work, allowing people to work remotely and connecting colleagues around the world. But there is a darker side to these new technological advances, as many workers are finding out.

Shortly after starting a new job at a PR firm in London, Clare* found herself a victim of cyberbullying at work. "My colleagues would be emailing or texting each other while in the same room and then smirking and laughing at each other. This escalated to one of them 'accidentally' sending me emails that contained insults about me and then feigning innocence and saying it wasn't about me and he didn't know why I'd got the email."

Clare's colleagues also tried to damage her reputation with her boss and contacts outside of the business. "They would purposely tell me the wrong time to arrive at events, so they could then tell the boss I was late. They also repeatedly didn't copy me into other email communications so I was left in the dark about what was going on at work, then email me asking me to follow up with something I had no idea about," she says.

"I began to dread going into work and became paranoid, wondering what every email they sent was saying and if it was about me. I felt constantly anxious and close to tears, and was reminded of the misery of school bullying," she says.

Cyberbullying is often associated with teenagers and schools, but it is increasingly common in workplaces. "Adult cyberbullying in the workplace can be more subtle, but is equally distressing. The outcomes are often the same -- to humiliate, undermine and distress the person being targeted," says Dan Raisbeck, co-founder of anti-cyberbullying charity The Cybersmile Foundation.

Clare believes that working in a small company meant she did not receive adequate...

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