Return-To-Office Mandates Will Just Keep Getting Harsher as Bosses Stick to ‘Management by Walking Around’ | Fortune

Workforce Trends

Organizational leaders can make more informed decisions about remote and hybrid work when they leverage research and studies on the topic. This article points to two studies that explored how managers perceive the productivity and performance of remote and hybrid workers. The studies, involving Nick Bloom, a Professor of Economics at Stanford University who has been researching work from home for over 20 years, found that managers tend to underestimate the performance of remote workers. One study showed a 13% increase in performance for call center employees working from home, and another study showed a 4.4% boost in productivity for employees with a hybrid arrangement. However, these findings didn’t change how managers assessed performance or promotion rates. These results highlight the importance of building managers’ capability to effectively evaluate the performance of remote and hybrid workers. With this in mind, I am resharing my post from last year on six indicators of proximity bias— an incorrect assumption that workers in close physical proximity to their team and company leaders are better performers than their remote counterparts. Helping managers to conduct self-audits to see if they engage in these behaviors could be one of several steps to mitigating proximity bias.