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Are you dealing with unconscious bias as a remote employee?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Employment Law

Age bias is prohibited by law. So are other forms of discrimination in the workplace.

Unconscious bias is also a workplace issue that can affect employees, especially those who work remotely.

What it is

Unconscious bias refers to the unconscious mind making decisions whether or not there is sufficient information to do so. In the workplace, the mind can jump to conclusions causing unconscious bias against race, gender, education, appearance, personality and many other personal demographics. It can also apply to people who work remotely. These employees are not part of the office scene. They are not visible. Therefore, although they may work just as hard as in-office staff, they may not do as well on a performance review. Management may pass them over for praise, awards or promotions due to unconscious bias.

Reasons for unconscious bias

A manager or supervisor might let unconscious bias take over because of stress or because of being overwhelmed by work. Unconscious bias can also spring from feelings of fear or anger in the way that more intense behavior such as bullying or harassment develops.

Potential consequences

Because you are not physically in the office, your peers may receive more attention and positive reinforcement than you do. Unconscious bias can work against a remote employee in various ways, possibly resulting in liability for the employer. If you feel this kind of bias has adversely affected your chance for a promotion that you deserved but that went to an in-office employee with less experience, it may be time to seek legal guidance to consider your next steps.

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