From the BBC:
“… over time a feeling grew that her boss, who was new to the company, was consistently singling her out in uncomfortable ways. “It would be a group email where I would say one thing and she’d come back with another, or she would put me on the spot in a Zoom meeting without any prior warning,” she says. Many incidents seemed small in isolation: one day her boss changed all of the work social media passwords so Joyce was no longer able to access the accounts; on another, Joyce got an email reprimanding her for “pushback” against her boss’ ideas.
The incidents piled up. Despite having worked at her company for years, over a period of six months, Joyce says she went from loving her job to wanting to resign. “It was a traumatic experience,” she says. “It played on my mind and I just felt very sad.”
Remote bullying is not an entirely new phenomenon. Some data indicates it was a burgeoning issue even before the widespread switch to remote work.
A January 2020 study from HR advisory body The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), showed 10% of workers reported being bullied by email, phone or social media. “We were already seeing incidences of bullying that happened outside the physical workplace,” says Rachel Suff, senior policy adviser on employment relations for CIPD, based in London.
The expansion of remote bullying comes as little surprise to Suff. She believes the sheer number of digital channels available “gives more avenues for people to be bullied or feel on the receiving end of inappropriate behaviour”.