Does Your Company Have A Proximity Bias?

We are now two full years into the Covid-19 pandemic, and some companies are still having difficulties adjusting to the new standard of remote work. Remote work has become the new norm for corporate America, but many businesses prefer to have their employees come on site. 

For specific industries, on-site work is the preference, but in advertising and marketing, it seems to be hurting those that have not made this shift. One of the most harmful ways this can affect companies is if they have what we call proximity bias. A proximity bias is to give preferences to individuals that you physically see more than those you do not. 

A great example of this could be that a manager or leader in a company chose to give specific projects or even chose to promote an individual working on-site over a remote employee. This could vary from hybrid versus remote employees or employees that work EST versus PST. 

The one way to conquer this bias and lift what seems like a curse of the Great Resignation is to find the source of the issue and work towards fixing the bias. Here are a few ways we suggest how you can alter your thinking as the leader of a company

Accept that times are changing 

Corporate America will never be the same that it once was before the pandemic. Employees now more than ever want opportunities that will best serve them, and that is a company culture that opens remote employees with open arms. 

Even if you are a company that hires remote employees but only does it for the sake of finding better talent, we can tell you right now that employees can see right through the façade. Remote employees can feel and see the proximity bias happening before their eyes. 

Rethink your company structure 

If you notice remote employees are feeling undervalued, we recommend looking inward as a company to see how you can assess this issue. Employees want an equal opportunity, so whether it is the structure of promotions, the managers distribute work, or a specific individual casting this bias, we advise looking inward to restructure. 

We understand that the pandemic was a gradual shift in the corporate world, but in this case, it is better to go with the flow because you will only be standing in your own way. Other companies will see a greater value in remote employees and may take them right from under your nose. 

If you are unsure of how to navigate hiring remote employees, we would love to help you in your job search. Visit our website at clutchnow.com/client to get started today.

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