Adland staff wary of increased sexual harassment upon office return, TimeTo finds

There is concern that working from home has caused 'dangerous knowledge gaps'.

TimeTo: has updated its code of conduct and training programme
TimeTo: has updated its code of conduct and training programme

Almost half (49%) of industry professionals believe that sexual harassment in the workplace will be more of a problem when businesses return to the office next year, compared with their experiences over lockdown.

That's the findings from a survey by TimeTo, the initiative that aims to tackle sexual harassment in adland.

The research by think tank Credos, on behalf of the Advertising Association, Nabs and Wacl, found concerns that working from home has caused "dangerous knowledge gaps" around sexual harassment.

Many of the 1,250 respondents said they are worried about the "boundaries of appropriate behaviour being forgotten".

The study added that some people feel that there are "pent-up" emotions that will lead to an increase of inappropriate behaviour when people begin to work from the office more frequently.

As a result TimeTo has updated its code of conduct and training programme to incorporate the hybrid working environment.

Helen Calcraft, founder of Lucky Generals and a TimeTo steering group member, said: "Just because the people who perpetrate sexual harassment have been away for a while doesn't mean the problem has gone away.

"This research shows that a lot of people in our industry are scared to come back to the office, and this is wrong. It also shows they want this issue tackled.

"Our new training is relevant for all seniority levels and shorter in length than before to make it more accessible, so we strongly encourage managers and senior leaders to attend and help us bring the change that is needed in our new working environments."

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