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How to Handle Performance Review Bias

Hybrid offices have their upsides, but they can also foster unfair preferences

Making a decision about how to run your office these days is fraught enough. In person? Fully remote? Hybrid? Every choice has an impact on productivity, recruitment, retention, and other metrics related to staffing. Those choices also reveal how leaders think about how work ought to get done—which means performance reviews can be more complicated now, and more at risk for bias.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, organizational behavior expert Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio points out three ways these biases emerge, often to the detriment of female employees. Two of them relate to issues directly related to the hybrid workforce. For instance, leaders can be prone to proximity bias, or favoring employees who are more visible to managers doing the assessment; there’s a “tendency to think that people who are in your physical orbit do the most important work,” Cecchi-Dimeglio wrote. 

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