Working from home can lead to discrimination and staff miss out on promotion, according to research

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Working from home could cause Britons to miss out on career opportunities and lead to discrimination in offices, a new study warns today.

According to a team of business psychologists from Cambridgeshire-based company OE Cam, so-called ‘hybrid work models’ that give staff the flexibility to work between home and office would ‘drag companies back decades’.

Researchers argue that people who work from home miss out on opportunities their colleagues get into the office and are less likely to get promoted.

The study also suggests that those who work remotely, such as parents, the disabled and minority groups, will be put at a disadvantage because they ‘go unnoticed, with no voice or the ability to contribute or make progress’.

A range of top businesses and banks in the city have already embraced a hybrid model or full-time working from home, as pandemic habits are becoming more common even as the crisis abates.

Researchers claim that people who work from home are missing out on opportunities their colleagues get in the office and that they are less likely to be promoted (photo in file)

Researchers warn that those who work from home risk missing the opportunities offered to their colleagues who see the boss in the office every day (file photo)

Researchers warn that those who work from home risk missing the opportunities offered to their colleagues who see the boss in the office every day (file photo)

Five thousand stores are closing and the nationwide vacancy rate is 14 percent because they lose business without commuters and office workers

Five thousand stores have been closed due to the blockages of the corona virus, according to research.

Nearly one in five stores closed in the hardest hit malls and parts of the country, including the Northeast and Wales.

Rural vacancy is now 14 percent – one in seven – warned the British Retail Consortium.

Chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “ The forced closings of stores during the first quarter of 2021 have exacerbated already difficult conditions for retailers. Many stores may never open again. ‘

She said the situation could worsen as protections, including corporate tariff cuts and a moratorium on aggressive landlord debt collection, expire this summer.

Lucy Stainton of the Local Data Company, who compiled the numbers, said further closures are expected. “We have not yet seen the true impact of this third lockdown,” she said.

Ms. Stainton added: ‘The number of vacant units has continued to increase across the country in the first three months of this year, despite much of the market being temporarily closed during the third lockdown.

With this in mind, and despite these rates rising significantly, we would argue that we have not yet seen the real impact of this third lockdown and this will not become apparent until the market has had a chance to fully reopen.

“We’ve seen a number of well-known names announce further store closings or even disappear from our high streets altogether, showing just how challenging physical retail remains.”

The most recent BRC-LDC retail vacancy monitor shows vacancy across the country rose to 14.1 percent in the quarter to the end of March, from 13.7 percent in the last three months of 2020.

It said this represents three years of constantly increasing vacancy.

All types of retail locations reported an increase in vacancy rates over the period, with a particularly strong increase in shopping centers.

The figures show that the share of vacant units in shopping centers has increased from 17.1 percent in the previous quarter to 18.4 percent.

On the high street, the number of vacancies was in line with the general average, with about 14.1 percent of storefronts vacant before non-essential retail reopened earlier this month.

The data also showed a particularly high proportion of empty units in the North of England.

In the Northeast, the vacancy rate rose to 19.3% for the quarter, from 17.3 percent in the Northwest.

Last month, Nationwide Building Society announced it will put its 13,000 office workers in control to decide where to work.

Other business giants – including UK gas owner Centrica, NatWest Group, BP and outsourcer Capita – have also confirmed they will move their workforce to hybrid works.

But OE Cam researchers warn that those who work from home risk missing out on the opportunities afforded to their colleagues who see the boss in the office every day, in what they have termed “ Present privilege. ”

‘Present privilege’ refers to those in the workplace who are more likely to be involved in spontaneous discussions in the office and who have better access to the boss – meaning they are ‘more at the forefront of that promotion’.

The OE Cam study, published in a journal launched this month, examines how companies are affected when they switch to a hybrid working model.

It also refers to ‘in-groups’ – those in the office – and ‘out-groups’ – those who choose to stay at home.

Martyn Sakol, managing partner at OE Cam, said: “I saw firsthand in a meeting how remote workers were disadvantaged compared to their physically present colleagues.

A team was considering an important deal. It was postponed for a scheduled break.

Those working remotely logged out to take a comfortable break on their own, while those in the office continued the group conversations.

When the meeting resumed, it became abundantly clear that perceptions of how the deal should take shape within the office team had changed; their new position did not reflect conversations with remote participants.

‘At that point it was clear that the consequences for companies worldwide could be hugely damaging.’

He warned that companies should consider workers who are more likely to work from home, including caregivers, parents (with more mothers choosing or feeling obliged to work remotely over fathers), disabled workers, and older generation workers.

He added, “To prevent these employees from losing their voice, their ability to contribute effectively to the company, and their prospects for promotion, companies must take active steps.”

The study also says there will be an age disparity between young staff living in the city and senior managers who commute.

Experts warn that offices “can become playgrounds for young, inexperienced workers who work without practical management support.”

They add, ‘Those inexperienced professionals may unwittingly use their’ current privilege ‘to shape the business and create a new culture that is misrepresented and potentially destructive, turning a company’s progress into decades. other way around.’

Mr. Sakol adds: “Hybrid offers enormous benefits, but the risks should not be underestimated. No one should endanger their career by choosing to work from home more. ‘

This is as Barclays CEO Jes Staley said today that the flexibility of employees during the pandemic means the bank is unlikely to need that much office space – following in the footsteps of rival banks that have implemented hybrid works.

A review of his offices is underway and Mr. Staley said he expects a hybrid working model in the future.

The branches in the shopping streets will continue to exist, but they will also remain under pressure as more and more customers switch to online banking.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley said today that employee flexibility during the pandemic means the bank is unlikely to need that much office space - following in the footsteps of rival banks that have implemented hybrid works.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley said today that employee flexibility during the pandemic means the bank is unlikely to need that much office space – following in the footsteps of rival banks that have implemented hybrid works.

Finance Director Tushar Morzaria said: “We have a lot of general office space and we are looking at whether we still need all that office space, but if we do, how can we best use it. We certainly don’t need all that office space. ‘

Mr. Staley is keen to get employees back to the office, saying that 20,000 people had gone to work during the pandemic – including call centers, trade desks and branches – and that employee surveys show that employees want to return.

But he said he recognizes that flexibility is the way forward.

“When we looked at the pandemic, everyone was surprised that we could run a bank of this complexity with about 50,000 people working at their kitchen tables,” he said.

‘I think flexible working is here to stay. I think this helps with diversity issues, but the bank headquarters in Canary Wharf is not going away, and neither is our New York headquarters, and I think we will continue to have more staff (in offices) as we go through June and July. ‘

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