The Bias of Face Time

I have predicted, several times, that while companies are going to offer remote and hybrid workplaces, within 18 months those experiments will be called failures. I believe this because I think companies are moving into this new world without enough thought and focus (or desire to change things).

One reason it will fail is the Bias of Face Time. Here is how it will work:

  1. Managers will give more opportunities to people who are in the office. Not because they deserve them, but because location bias will play a huge part.

  2. Employees will see that the way to get opportunities is to be in the office, so they will go in the office even when they know they could do better work and be more engaged remotely.

  3. Companies will see all these people coming in when they don't have to and say "see, they want to be in the office because they see its value".

  4. This will lead them to call remote work a failure and return to the old way.

It will be one more way that companies fail at selecting people for promotion (there are plenty of already existing ways, we don't need more).

Great Managers will be aware of this bias and make opportunities available based on skills and potential, not the silly things that lead to bias (like someone was in the office who I could talk sports with).

If someone sees the "Remote Work experiment is Over" article before me, please send my way.