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Employers: Productivity Among Your Remote Workers Isn't A Problem — Your Proximity Bias Is. False intuitions of older, traditionalist leaders cause many to mistrust the productivity and performance of hybrid and remote workers. To address these false beliefs and address proximity bias, companies have to change their performance evaluations to measure deliverables, not passive presence.

By Gleb Tsipursky Edited by Maria Bailey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do bosses trust employees to be productive when working out of the office? An overwhelming number of employers do not, according to a new report by Citrix, which is based on a global survey of 900 business leaders and 1,800 knowledge workers (those who can do their job remotely). Half of all business leaders believe that when employees are working "out of sight," they don't work as hard. And 48% of the business leaders installed monitoring software on the computers of their employees to check on their work. No wonder only 49% of employees say that they trust their employer.

The perspective of such traditionalist business leaders aligns with Elon Musk's demand that all Tesla and SpaceX employees be "visible" in the office and work full-time in-person — including knowledge workers. That's based on Musk's belief that remote workers are "phoning it in" and only "pretend to work."

Musk's demand for improving productivity via full-time in-office work for knowledge workers is something to which other traditionalist leaders aspire. A Microsoft survey shows that 50% of the bosses of knowledge workers intend to force them into the office by spring 2023. According to a Future Forum survey, this skepticism toward work from home tends to come from older leaders in their 50s and 60s. Leaders under 50 are much more accepting of hybrid and remote work and focus on how to do it well.

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