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Fear of Proximity Bias Arises among Indian Remote Workers During Appraisal Season

Employees who work from home are concerned that they might lose out on promotions and increments, as the first performance appraisal season after the pandemic approaches. 

As more employees prefer to work remotely, they fear managers value the performance of employees who spend more physical time in office more than those who don’t, knowingly or unknowingly. This is likely to lead to disparate treatment and evaluation results between remote/hybrid working employees and in office employees, according to Arvind Usretay, commercial leader, India and South Asia, Mercer Consulting India.

Proximity bias is rooted in the way organizations currently work. Traditionally, working in office was the only one play field to manage. However, after the pandemic, more employees chose to work remotely, and companies now have two play fields. “You have two playing fields to administer, they are inequitable by design." stated Darren Murph, head of remote at GitLab. 

To fix the potential bias, many Indian companies are working proactively to raise the awareness around the topic and educate through training managers to understand that such biases are dangerous, and it is important to trust team members and do the right appraisal.

HRPI’s View: The next couple of months will see the appraisal cycle happening in most companies. With more and more employees working from home, we encourage companies to consider approaching this topic proactively and engaging the employees.

Published on: July 6, 2022

Authors: Dilpreet Singh, Rohit Dhawan

Topics: India

Dilpreet Singh

Chief Advisor, India, HR Policy Association

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Rohit Dhawan

Resource Manager, HR Policy in India, HR Policy Association

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