The playing field at work is shifting.
For more than a year, remote employees at many firms were in good company: Everyone was at home. Now, some colleagues are returning to the office five days a week. Others are testing out a hybrid schedule, or opting not to go back at all. If you’re the one leaning into flexibility, how do you make sure you’re not unintentionally leaning out of your career? And what happens if certain subsets of the workforce, like mothers, are less likely to return to the office?
“During the pandemic it was, ‘You’re forced to work from home,’ ” says Brian Kropp, who leads human-resources research at Gartner . “Now you’re choosing to work from home. You’re choosing not to be here.”
Many of us have been dutifully plugging away from home, trading time in transit for longer work hours, office coffee breaks for boosted productivity.
But the boss might not see it that way. Managers consistently label in-office workers higher performers and give them bigger raises and promotions, Mr. Kropp says, even though data shows there’s really no difference between the two groups. If anything, remote workers perform slightly better and are more engaged, he says.