Remote working improves experience for Black workers, survey shows


The switch to remote working has improved the experience of Black staff, according to a new survey.

The Future Forum Pulse, a consortium set up by software maker Slack Technologies, engaged 10,569 knowledge workers across the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK over the summer months.

It emerged that women, working parents and employees of colour had a better workplace experience during their time at home, and were also the categories with the strongest desire for flexible working.

Black respondents made the biggest quarter-over-quarter gains in employee experience out of all demographic groups in the US.

Also in the US, people of colour were most likely to be considering new opportunities in the coming year.

“Going virtual levels the playing field,” says Dr Ella Washington, organisational psychologist, faculty member at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and founder of Ellavate Solutions.

“When Covid and remote work first started, employers had to become much more transparent and communicate much more. Because everything is virtual, there’s less of this informal chatter we had in person. So that’s going to make anybody feel more like they belong, especially folks that are not usually in those conversations.”

Brian Lowery, social psychologist and professor of organisational behaviour at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, noted that removing the “everyday tension” can improve the workplace experience.

“A big part of the experience of race at work is your sense of comfort or belonging. If you work in an environment where you’re in the minority, the office might be less comfortable,” he said.


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