Why Proximity Bias Keeps Leaders From Excelling in the Era of Hybrid and Remote Work - Deepstash
How to Manage a Hybrid Team

Learn more about corporateculture with this collection

How to balance flexibility and structure in a hybrid team environment

Understanding the challenges of managing a hybrid team

How to maintain team cohesion

How to Manage a Hybrid Team

Discover 61 similar ideas in

It takes just

12 mins to read

Proximity Bias In Remote/Flexible Workers

Proximity Bias In Remote/Flexible Workers

A January 2022 Slack survey of more than 10,000 knowledge workers and their leaders shows that the top concern for executives about hybrid and remote work is “proximity bias.” Namely, 41% feel worried about the negative impact on work culture from the prospect of inequality between office-centric, hybrid and fully remote employees.

The difference in time spent in the office leads to concerns ranging from decreased career mobility for those who spend less facetime with their supervisor to resentment building up against the staff who have the most flexibility in where to work.


58 reads

Failure Of Leaders To Adapt To A Flexible Future Of Work: Survey Findings

Failure Of Leaders To Adapt To A Flexible Future Of Work: Survey Findings

Surveys show that two-thirds of large employers intend to have a mainly hybrid schedule after the pandemic ends for non-front line employees, with some fully remote and some office-centric.

Employee surveys show that two-thirds to three-quarters of all workers who can work at least some time remotely want a very flexible hybrid or fully remote schedule permanently.


45 reads

The Fickle Nature Of Remote Workers

The Fickle Nature Of Remote Workers

There’s an important retention issue involved in providing employees with their desired level of flexibility, especially in the context of the Great Resignation. The survey indicates that of those knowledge workers not satisfied with the flexibility at their workplace, 72% are likely to look for a new job in the next year. That’s an especially important issue from the perspective of diversity. While 75% of white knowledge workers want a hybrid or fully remote schedule, 86% of Hispanic/Latinx and 81% of Asian/Asian-American and Black knowledge workers want such flexibility.


37 reads

Black Swans And Grey Rhinos

Black Swans And Grey Rhinos

Why haven’t leaders addressed the obvious problem of proximity bias?

Any reasonable external observer could predict the issues arising from differences in time spent in the office. Unfortunately, leaders often fail to see the clear threat in front of their noses.

You might have heard of black swans, the hard-to-predict, low-probability, high-impact threats like the pandemic. Well, the opposite kind of threats are called gray rhinos: obvious dangers that we fail to see because of our mental blindspots.


68 reads

Mental Blindspots: Cognitive Bias

Mental Blindspots: Cognitive Bias

Cognitive biases or mental blindspots are dangerous judgment errors that result in poor strategic and financial decisions. They render leaders unable to resist following their gut instead of relying on best practices.

One of these biases is called functional fixedness. When we have a certain perception of appropriate practices, we tend to disregard other more appropriate alternatives.


65 reads

Imposing The Old Way

Imposing The Old Way

Trying to transpose existing ways of collaboration in “office culture” to remote work is a prime example of functional fixedness.

That’s why leaders fail to address strategically the problems arising with the shift to a hybrid-centric culture of work. They thought their pre-existing ways of management would be more than enough for the new world. Unfortunately for them, the context changed, and they ended up like fish out of water.


56 reads

Not Invented Here

Not Invented Here

Another cognitive bias, related to functional fixedness, is called the not-invented-here syndrome. It’s a leader’s antipathy towards adopting practices not invented within their organization, no matter how useful. No wonder that leaders fail to look externally for techniques to address proximity-bias related issues. Instead, they try to come up with their own strategies and often work very hard and spend way too many resources to reinvent the wheel. If they’re lucky, it’s round, but too often, it’s a square wheel.


23 reads

'Excellence From Anywhere' Strategy

'Excellence From Anywhere' Strategy

Many organizations may need some employees to come in full-time. Others may need to come in on a hybrid schedule even if they worked full-time remotely during the pandemic.

Addressing these potential cultural divides is vital to prevent a sense of “haves” and “have-nots” from developing, as well as pre-empting career-limiting facetime differences with supervisors. Leaders can address this by focusing on a shared culture of “Excellence From Anywhere”.

This culture takes into account the nature of an employee's work and promotes task-based policies, allowing remote work whenever possible.


30 reads

Benefits Of 'Excellence From Anywhere'

Benefits Of 'Excellence From Anywhere'

The “Excellence From Anywhere” strategy addresses concerns about divides by focusing on deliverables, regardless of where you work. Doing so also involves adopting best practices for hybrid and remote collaboration and innovation.

By valuing deliverables, collaboration and innovation through a focus on the shared work culture of “Excellence From Anywhere,” you can instil in your employees a focus on deliverables. The core idea is to get all of your workforce to pull together to achieve business outcomes; the location doesn’t matter.


23 reads

Facetime With Managers

Facetime With Managers

Addressing the problem of 'Facetime with the Boss' necessitates shifting from the traditional, high-stakes, large-scale quarterly or even annual performance evaluations to much more frequent weekly or biweekly, low-stakes, brief performance evaluation one-on-one check-ins.

Supervisees agree on three to five weekly or biweekly performance goals with their supervisor. Then, 72 hours before their check-in meeting, they send a brief report to their boss under a page of how they did on these goals, what challenges they faced and how they overcame them.


22 reads

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

The transition to a hybrid and remote work culture in the post-pandemic recovery leads to the threat of resentment over flexibility and worries over career standing due to facetime with the boss.

This reframes the conversation to help everyone focus on pulling together to achieve shared business objectives and prioritizing deliverables rather than where and how you work through research-based best practices.


22 reads



Public house manager

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations


Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates