- More than half of adults in the U.S. believe that employees who work exclusively in-office have a “competitive advantage” over fully remote workers regarding bonuses, promotions and raises, a Jan. 19 report suggests. The American Staffing Association surveyed about 2,000 adults — a little over half of whom were employed — in Q4 2022 for their attitudes regarding the future of work.
- About half of workers said they’re working in-office full-time, with 28% operating in a hybrid arrangement and 24% of respondents working fully from home.
- Despite most respondents noting the advantages of working in-office, 44% also told ASA that they’d take a pay cut if it enabled “greater freedom to work remotely.”
The rationale behind this phenomenon continues to be the subject of labor discourse. On one hand, a research firm reported in December that being closer to one’s boss can spark creativity and innovation — particularly in the STEM field. “We saw firsthand how disruptions to proximity can make coordinating, brainstorming, and creating harder,” researchers said in the press release, underscoring that closeness “helps, rather than hinders.”
Still, many HR experts have warned against “workplace proximity bias.” The term describes employer prejudice against remote workers. In practice, this looks like remote workers getting passed over for promotions, raises or other career development opportunities, experts have said.
Often, proximity bias feeds into recency bias, wherein recent interactions — be they negative or positive ones — color a supervisor’s overall perception of a direct report’s work performance.
HR experts say a key way to cut down on recency bias in performance reviews is to create a culture of ongoing feedback. More than a mid-year review or quarterly check-in, managers can schedule weekly or biweekly talks. Managers tend to hold onto feedback until performance review times, a LifeLabs learning and development moderator said in a webinar last year. In turn, enhancing the feedback frameworks and providing more avenues for constructive criticism gives talent a fair chance to meet KPIs.