Microsoft includes remote worker stigma in unconscious bias training

Microsoft includes remote worker stigma in unconscious bias training

By using videoconferencing and chat tools like Skype and instant messaging, Rich Kaplan, general manager of employee experience at Microsoft, says he’s seen teams "move beyond" the face-time bias. Sometimes, he says, a team will host multiple meetings on the same topic, to make sure everyone from different time zones has a chance to chime in.
"I think the technology is good enough today where if you really want to be diverse and inclusive globally, you have no choice but to use the tools to your advantage," he says.


A UC Davis researcher quoted in the article suggests there’s an unconscious perception that people who are seen around the office during regular working hours are more reliable, committed, dependable than remote workers (including telecommuters and those who travel heavily). In fact, Microsoft’s ‘unconscious bias’ training includes an example of forgetting to invite remote workers to a meeting. 

The worry is that the ‘not-being-seen’-bias could result in poorer performance reviews. It suggests including social time with remote workers and making sure managers judge their people by what they do, rather than their subjective feelings toward them.


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