Remote work can go terribly wrong

Richard Bretzger
2 min readApr 8, 2021


The brand-new study from shows how threatening increased pressure, gender harassment and mental health can be if companies don’t have a holistic strategy for the new type of work.

⏱ 64% are working longer hours since Covid-19

⏰ 37% say their managers expect them to be available on demand

🥱 54% feel the pressure to be online outside of work hours

😱 85% experience increased anxiety since Covid-19

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Alarming: the gap between race/ethnicity, age, gender and sexual orientation sharpens rapidly!

😡 45% of Black women experienced race-based hostility at work

“Women, genderqueer people, or nonbinary people were 40 times as likely on average to have experienced an increase in gender-based harassment than white men since Covid-19.”

So what are possible solutions:

Out of my experience, you need to start at the roots: your company culture.

  1. Lead by example. Especially if you are a manager, leader or teamlead. Do not accept any kind of dangerous behavior. Be strikt and show no mercy to those who are overstepping clear lines.
  2. Be a friend to your teammates. Put the individual in the middle and react early to signs of danger. Start meetings or 1on1s with a short “trip-report”: “How was your weekend? How are you dealing with homeschooling? What are you planning to do once the movies are open again?”
  3. Transparency by default. If your tool of communication is public, you can add a layer of shared regulation. Harassers won’t get away with stuff that easy. You can also slowly nudge people towards a behavioral change.
    👉 Someone makes a slippery comment in slack? Nudge him with the eggplant 🍆 emoji in public and show him: that’s not ok!

Leave me a comment: What are your hacks for a holistic healthy strategy?



Richard Bretzger

Leadership for the Future of Work, New Work and Distributed Work @ prosma consulting