- In the research and development sector, in-office proximity to senior managers makes inventors more creative, a report published by The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences suggests. In a Dec. 8 press release, the Management Science journal writers maintain that proximity to managers doesn’t dampen creativity but instead helps it flourish.
- “We saw firsthand how disruptions to proximity can make coordinating, brainstorming, and creating harder,” the study authors said in a press release. “Proximity to senior management helps, rather than hinders.”
- The authors also observed that STEM employers find distant inventors are less productive and “only employ them when distant locations offer other benefits, such as lower tax rates, that make up for the lower productivity,” the researchers added.
By now, most employers and HR leads pulled into the remote vs. on-site tug-of-war have made their decisions and are set to stick with them heading into 2023. In fact, 9 in 10 employers told Resume Builder the other day that they will require workers to return to the office — for at least part of the week. Further, 1 in 5 said they will even fire employees who do not return.
For those striving to retain or attract talent, experts recommend these employers proceed with caution and are vigilant against proximity bias. This pandemic-era form of discrimination occurs when managers behave more favorably toward in-office workers, as opposed to remote workers.
Those working from home offices — and not or seldomly in corporate headquarters — may be passed over for job promotions and career mentorship.
This can also contribute to recency bias. Especially during performance review season, a slew of recent positive or negative interactions, which do not necessarily reflect the entirety of a working relationship, skew the performance review from what that direct report actually deserves.
In a recent panel by L&D company LifeLabs, experts encouraged HR managers to create a culture of continuous feedback in the workplace. Doing so minimizes surprises and maximizes met expectations, panelists explained. Going forward, bosses across the board can weigh the value of creativity, productivity, burnout, retention and ROI to best meet all parties’ needs.