The Dangers Of Proximity Bias In The Workplace
A PwC survey shows that just 19% of companies will bring their employees back into the office full-time, and the majority will adopt a hybrid work model.
Although this may be necessary to stay agile during great uncertainty, it may encourage subconscious proximity bias between on-site workers, remote workers, and leaders.
Proximity bias refers to leaders believing that on-site employees may be better workers than those operating remotely, and could lead to them being given more opportunities and privileges.
Because of this, managers and leaders must adjust their own decision-making skills and ensure that they are not favoring certain employees simply because of proximity.
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This can be accomplished by adopting new tools that not only make all workers feel included, but also facilitates more transparency. For instance, using online tools and softwares that make collaboration between colleagues seamless can highlight the amount of work all employees are contributing.
Additionally, taking an all-or-nothing approach to meetings can help ensure everyone is on a level playing field. So instead of having some workers meet together in an office, while a few people log in on Zoom, leaders should request all employees to virtually log in no matter where they are working from.
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