Recent revelations within Hollywood and our very own government have dragged to light issues with inappropriate behavior within the workplace. Ranging from inappropriate comments to brazen advances, using a professional meeting in order to try and further your dating life is something which has caused much anger and backlash over recent weeks.
These problems have been exasperated by the use of social media. Once reserved for business networking, LinkedIn users have come under fire recently for using the platform as a dating site. With a much higher frequency of LinkedIn posts regarding inappropriate messages being sent of late, LinkedIn spokeswoman, Suzi Owen, felt the need to speak up. Stating that messages of a sexual nature are "Prohibited and violate our user agreement" she reassured users that "We investigate and take actions when violations are identified".
Despite these investigations however, persistence in flirtatious messages has not dimmed, with some users leaving the site altogether. Despite some publications praising the site as a way to meet and date 'likeminded professionals', Steve Dean, an Online Dating Consultant says we should keep these parts of our lives separate.
"Calling LinkedIn a dating platform would poison the well, leading to an exodus of users who have neither the time nor the emotional stamina to fend off barrages of unwanted suitors."
Whilst we may be able to turn off our social media in order to avoid 'unwanted suitors', when it comes to the job market, 'out of sight, out of mind', isn't an option, something the 'Me too' hashtag has proven in bucket loads. Claiming that they have been put in an uncomfortable position, jobseekers have been coming forward in droves to state that interviewers have used their positions wrongfully.
Speaking to Recruitment Grapevine, Ed Sutcliffe, Managing Partner at MET Marketing, says that although its preferable these encounters were eradicated forever, they do have a positive in that "For the candidate [the positive] is that this behavior shows traits in a person at a very early stage before they make a terrible mistake and work for someone where things would only get worse."
For those wishing to avoid any situation where lines become blurred, experts have suggested that dodging situations in which drinking is present is essential, whilst avoiding personal messages should be high up on our list. Copying a colleague into any correspondence with potential colleagues is a step we could all be taking, ensuring that lines are seen clearer and a record is kept of our interactions.
Causing shock and outrage, those bravely speaking out about their experiences have ensured there'll be an upheaval when it comes to the work environment, one with hopefully more transparency and less harassment.