Working from home offers safety from the pandemic, flexibility and a break from the stressful commute. But, could all this be at a cost we shouldn't be willing to pay? Without the traditional "water cooler" mixing, or "making a cuppa in the kitchen", there is a danger we are unknowingly retreating from more ethnically diverse relationships. For employers, the danger increases when this retreat slides into prejudice and then bullying. Their duty to monitor behaviour, enforce equal opportunities policies and take any necessary disciplinary action still remains regardless of where their employees are spending their working hours. 

Top tips to help this process?

1) Keep communication lines open throughout your organisation - create an environment where people can easily talk to someone about bullying/racism/prejudice. This may be harder in our virtual workplace but remains key to tackling this issue. 

2) What appropriate monitoring do you have in place to check bullying/racism and similar behaviour and conversely what training are you offering to counteract new behaviours?

3) Don't be put off investigating allegations just because employees are working remotely - may be easier to find "evidence" given more likely to be on emails/messages. Be aware of other implicit bullying; muting people on calls, not inviting colleagues to meetings etc.