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Prior to the pandemic, many companies did not offer employees the option to work from home, and for those that did, there was often a stigma around employees who worked remotely. Although working from home has become the norm over the past year and a half, many Americans think that there will be a stigma attached to those who continue to do so once there is an option to return to the office. In fact, a recent LinkedIn survey found that 52% of professionals think there is still a stigma associated with working from home. But is this really the case?
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WFH Stigma Will Vary From Company to Company
“As companies begin to call employees back to the workplace, we’ll likely begin to see a larger divide between in-person and remote workers and how they view each other,” said Andrew McCaskill, a career expert with LinkedIn. “Remote workers are worried about how their commitment and productivity are being viewed by colleagues and supervisors. How companies are handling this division can make all the difference in how employees feel and in addressing this proximity bias — and it all starts with company culture.”
If a company makes it clear that they are fully embracing work-from-home culture — and follows through with this commitment by treating remote and in-office workers equally when it comes to opportunities for advancement — there shouldn’t be any stigma attached. However, if remote workers are left out of team-building activities and continue to get passed over for promotions, this will further perpetuate the stigma.
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Workers Can Take Steps To Negate WFH Stigma
Even if a company culture doesn’t fully embrace working from home, there are still ways remote workers can demonstrate that they are being productive and fulfilling all of their job responsibilities. The first step is “showing up” in a way that puts you on par with your in-office colleagues.
“It may sound simple, but be sure you show up — not just with your physical presence on calls and Zooms, but by being prepared to contribute,” McCaskill said. “Do the reading, do the prep, so that you can thoughtfully participate in meetings to really make your presence felt.”
McCaskill also recommends over-communicating what you’re working on.
“Share your goals for the week on Monday, send a mid-week check-in about where you are with your goals and a recap at …….