In the age of the digital workplace, many things have grown easier and more manageable in certain ways. In other ways, the existing issues in workplaces have ended up exacerbated.
Private chats are one of the new tools of digital workplaces that sometimes contribute to both sides of this equation.
The use of private chats
As the New York Times delves into, the digital workplace is a new field in many ways. With it, new technologies grow and flourish. At the same time, it becomes easier to find potential flaws in these systems.
Private chats are a prime example. A chatroom is, in its most simple terms, a place where multiple people can gather together and exchange messages in real-time. It is often viewed as more immediate and convenient than emailing because you get real-time notifications of messages sent your way.
Private chats allow certain groups of individuals to talk amongst themselves without giving every single employee access to them. This can prove helpful if an employer needs to divide teams up for the sake of organization, if someone is working on a project that requires a level of secrecy, or if a group of people simply wishes to discuss matters outside of the work itself.
The abuse of private chats
However, it can also potentially encourage discrimination in the workplace. They essentially create little private rooms in which any amount of gossip can happen, all without the target having an awareness of it. This gives the chance for rumors to grow, spread and takes root, potentially creating an inhospitable environment and encouraging other employees to avoid or harass the target in question.
It is a delicate balance to strike, which is why it is so important for employers to keep an eye on any private chats and moderate them to avoid this issue.