This article was originally featured on Forbes Technology Council.

“Staying safe” in today’s workplace usually means taking precautions to protect yourself from Covid-19, but even with millions of people across the globe working remotely, corporate security and HR teams still need to consider the issue of workplace violence. A virtual workforce has pushed potential threats and the duty of care into newer territories where many teams lack the resources, tools and expertise to manage. Now, HR professionals are having difficult and emotional conversations with disgruntled employees in attempts to resolve undesirable situations via videoconference. Even when done appropriately, the virtual medium can come across as impersonal. So what happens when a furloughed or fired employee decides to retaliate?

Recognizing And Managing Workplace Violence Incidents

Each year, an average of nearly 2 million U.S. workers report having been a victim of workplace violence, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Often, after a violent incident, employees acknowledge they saw warning signs but didn’t think the situation would escalate. Like with Covid-19 statistics or terror threats, fatigue of hearing about seemingly random workplace violence can set in, causing people to grow complacent and believe the threat could never happen to them.

 

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