This post has been contributed.
These days, we expect that going to work will be straightforward. Offering a safe and happy environment in which to do our jobs in the required time qe are allocated to do with. There is so much talk about equality, treating people the same, rising talks about pay, and even the way we talk to people being scrutinised, it might be surprising to hear that there are still common issues that have much to do with some of the above happening today.
It isn’t just women who face this problem either. Although it is reported far more about women in terms of some of the most common issues, but men can struggle in this environment as well. Dominating managers, employers that don’t care too much in terms of the welfare of their staff, it can be quite a toxic place to be if you are not careful. In some cases, you may not even feel there is an issue. You just might have that gut feeling that makes you feel uncomfortable, but yet, won’t say anything about it through fear of your job or making more from something. It has to stop. If the media are prepared to report everything there is to know about pay gaps, harassment and bullying, then people need to realise what is happening in their own workplace and take action. I wanted to share with you some of the common issues any one of us can still struggle with in the workplace today, and hopefully offer you a little insight and advice of what to do if you are feeling the pressure.
Sexual harassment from colleagues or managers
Sexual harassment is such a big area and it isn’t as obvious as you may believe. In the workplace, especially in make or female dominated areas where you feel like a minority. You can find that sexual harassment can be something as trivial as remarks or phrases of a sexual nature directed at you. It can be inappropriate advances, being hassled on a regular basis by phone or email, and can even be physical if you are not careful. Sexual harassment is serious, and it is something that your managers and your employers should take very seriously. There is more about what you can do online if you want to take matters into your hands. Of course, one of the first instances should be to discuss your concerns with a line manager, although, in many situations, the manager is possibly the culprit. Feeling that role of “power” can give them some sort of sway over what they do and how they go about it. Find someone you trust and communicate your issues. If something has made you feel uncomfortable then it probably isn’t right, and definitely something you need to discuss further.
Being targeted online
The online world can be a great place to communicate with your friends, reconnect with people you haven't seen for a while, and share your pictures and your lives with your nearest and dearest. But it has also become a platform where people are stalking and harrassing people, and this can be extremely common in the workplace where colleagues will look at your profile. Of course, friends and follower requests are there for a reason, and you can pick and choose who sees what you put up online. However, if your privacy settings are not set right, then you could be leaving yourself wide open. People who don’t have a fully private account and check in places are allowing people who they don’t know seeing what you're doing and where you are going. If you want to be involved in social media, then ensure that you have tightened up your privacy settings so that you can’t be targeted and harassed online.
Made to feel alone
When you are in the workplace surrounded by people, you may be surprised to read that actually some people can feel very much alone in the workplace. Evn in today modern society we can naturally divided into groups and connect with people we have more in common with. This can happen at work very easily as you tend to spend a lot of time with these people, but what it can also do is isolate people, and some people who haven’t confirmed in some way can then be left out and made to feel alone. Perhaps you feel that way. Not party to the inside jokes or the plans being made for after work drinks. If you do feel alone in the workplace try and reach out to people and gain some confidence to step out of your comfort zone and communicate. If you do notice people being left out be the bigger person and include them. It is never a nice feeling to feel lonely.
Pay gap differences
There has been a lot of coverage about gender pay gaps recently in the press. So much so, that people with celebrity status are speaking out and making the issue more known than ever before. It is calling upon big corporations to disclose what they pay people, and some of the results have been staggering. But on a more normal level, this is still a very prominent issue. Sure companies have a duty of care to be equal to both men and women, but the pay gap can still be evident. Of course, there are other reasons why someone might be paid more than you for a similar job role, and that can be down to experience and skills. But in the same breath, if you are being paid considerably less and there is no rhyme or reason as to why then make sure you raise it with managers and above to get what you deserve.
Job description not being adhered to
Finally, there can be some employers that can take advantage of people in terms of their kindness and generosity, especially in the workplace. For example, having people take on extra responsibility for things that are predominantly not their area or in their job description. Furthermore, expecting these things to be done without any reward or remuneration. It can still happen today, and so if you do find yourself in this situation make sure you speak up.
I hope that this has made you more aware of what can still happen in todays workplace.