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News » Men reap more benefits by working on-site — Lean In

Men reap more benefits by working on-site — Lean In

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES — While remote and hybrid work has greatly benefited women, men are disproportionately reaping the advantages of being in the office. 

This was revealed in a discussion on the return to office (RTO) led by Caroline Fairchild, editor-in-chief at Lean In.

Lean In, co-founded by Sheryl Sandberg to advocate for women in the workplace, has explored the dynamics of on-site versus remote work through its 2023 report with McKinsey titled “Women in the Workplace.”

The study found that men who work on-site are more likely to feel connected to the organization, receive mentorship, and know about decisions affecting their workload that are critical for promotions.

“That makes sense if you think about how the office construct was originally created,” Fairchild told HR Dive. “There are still veins and strains of that, unfortunately, that we’re seeing in the dataset.” 

Ambition transcends location

While flexibility has been a significant advantage for women, helping them manage caregiving and household responsibilities, it is also highly valued across all genders.

The report found that women working remotely or in a hybrid model are just as ambitious about advancing their careers as men in the office. Eighty percent of remote women and 83% of hybrid women expressed interest in being promoted, nearly identical to the 79% of on-site men.

“It’s a myth that it’s mostly women who want and benefit from flexible work,” Fairchild said. She added that flexibility was often valued higher than traditional perks like healthcare.

Challenging the RTO mandate

As hybrid models become the norm, companies must ensure all employees benefit equally, regardless of location. She cited Dell’s controversial policy stating that remote workers will be ineligible for promotions starting in 2024. 

“Employees in the vast majority of corporate America are working hybrid at this point. Companies need to ensure that whether you’re on-site [full-time] or you’re hybrid [that] the benefits of going into the office are felt similarly by all employees,” Fairchild said.

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