Remote work has become a trend. This transition has provided positive changes, but it has also impacted workplace discrimination.
The virtual realm reshaped how employees connect, collaborate and communicate. However, it presents challenges that can increase existing biases.
Access to opportunities
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw 73,485 charges of employee discrimination in 2022. One concern about remote work is its potential for unequal access to opportunities.
Internet connectivity, technological ability and access to necessary tools can create inequalities. These challenges can make it challenging for some employees to participate and compete in the remote work environment.
Visibility and recognition
In a traditional office setting, visibility promotes career advancement. Remote work impacts visibility. Those who can navigate virtual platforms and engage with their colleagues may be more visible. This visibility can lead to increased recognition and opportunities. This shift may harm individuals who are less comfortable or proficient in the virtual space.
Unconscious bias in virtual communication
Virtual communication tools can create unconscious biases. It is easy to misunderstand written communication. These errors could support existing biases. Organizations need strategies that promote clear and unbiased communication in the virtual world.
Inclusive policies and practices
Organizations need inclusive policies and practices. This includes training on recognizing and addressing unconscious bias. They should provide equal access to resources. Employers should foster an inclusive virtual culture. Organizations should promote diversity and inclusion. Then, they can create an environment where all employees can thrive in the remote work landscape no matter their background.
Remote work offers unprecedented flexibility. Employers should understand its challenges to prevent expanded discrimination.