Leaders are concerned that employees choosing to work from home may feel excluded from opportunities to progress, leading to proximity bias. 

New research carried out by LinkedIn shows a significant shift in work models with more companies now looking to offer hybrid (56 per cent) or fully remote working (10 per cent).

Despite this, leaders share their concerns that employees working from home may feel left out of promotion or career decisions (35 per cent), leading to the rise of proximity bias – where people positively favour employees who they regularly see.

This is also a fear shared by many employees with almost half (44 per cent) believing that people who choose to work from the office are more likely to be favoured by bosses or senior management.

Two in five (39 per cent) think that working from home could negatively impact their career due to less face-time with their boss, and a third believe that being in the office is ultimately better for their progression.

Becky Schnauffer, Senior Director at LinkedIn, described this is as a period of transition where it is “imperative” for businesses to ensure that all employees feel included, regardless of their location.

Generally, business leaders feel this is a problem which they can tackle (76 per cent) through making everyone feel included regardless of their location.

Specifically, they plan to encourage managers to lead with empathy and trust, avoid forming biases based on where people choose to work (49 per cent) and establishing new behaviours and etiquette (39 per cent).

The majority (78 per cent) of executives say they also intend to introduce training courses to help people work effectively in flexible working environments.

The top skills leaders say are most important to leading in this new world of work are communication (62 per cent), trust (55 per cent), integrity (47 per cent) and inclusive leadership (44 per cent).