BBC ONLINE: How workplace bullying went remote

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 22/8/2022

Media contributions

TitleHow workplace bullying went remote
Media name/outletBBC Online
Media typeWeb
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
DescriptionRemote bullying in front of colleagues can not only be humiliating, but can also intensify feelings of disconnect from the team as a whole. Face to face, colleagues might intervene to stop bullying by showing support to the target or disagreeing with the perpetrator, says Dr Kara Ng, presidential fellow in organisational psychology at the University of Manchester, but in a virtual meeting it's more difficult. “Bystanders can’t use the same social cues.”

Lack of intervention can leave the targeted worker feeling their teammates endorse bullying behaviour, even if that is not the case. And after an incident, remote workspaces offer less opportunity for informal chat with colleagues to discuss what happened. “Not having that ability to sense-make with someone socially and to understand group norms can be quite damaging,” Ng says. “You just end up feeling even more isolated.”
PersonsKara Ng