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Employees Say In-office Workers Have a ‘Competitive Advantage’

American Staffing Association says people feel they are getting more raises and promotions

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.

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