taking a deeper dive: 
Supervisors' discussion guides

Promoting Equity & Understanding Bias in Remote Work Decisions

As a supervisor, you must consider equity and bias in your remote or flexible work decisions. Implicit bias left unexamined can lead to unproductive and harmful consequences for the people you supervise, impacting your ability to deliver results. You can make a difference by challenging status-quo ideas around work, being a part of a culture shift, and addressing inequities.

Here are common types of bias that may influence your decisions:

Giving preferential treatment to someone because they share similar experiences or remind you of someone you know and like.

Recent events or information are given more weight and importance than older ones.

Seeking new information to confirm your own beliefs.

People see their thoughts, choices, and judgements as common and shared with others.

Self-reflection questions

Raise awareness of your own bias and put intentional effort and procedures in place to break the link between bias and behavior.

  • How will I make sure affinity bias is not affecting my decisions? Is how much I like a person driving any of my decisions (e.g., decisions around flexibility, recognition, challenging assignments, etc.)?
  • How will I make sure recency bias isn't affecting how I treat the people on my team? How can I ensure everyone stays on the same page and that more recent information isn't being given more importance than older information?
  • How does confirmation bias affect the way I think and make decisions? What information contradicts my beliefs?
  • What can I offer the people I supervise whose position doesn't afford them flexibility around space? How can I get curious and creative about improving their working arrangement?
  • How will I recognize the people I supervise? What will I be basing my decisions on? How will I ensure that I don't fall into rewarding only the people I see most often (in-person or online)?
  • How will I manage team members' workload so that it is distributed equitably? How can I invite employee input on workload distribution? How will I make sure meaningful work and opportunities are distributed equitably regardless of an individual's work arrangement?
  • How might flexibility around the work help me better recruit people with disabilities or different living circumstances?

Disability Accommodations and Remote Arrangements

An employee with documented disabilities may request accommodations through the Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Process.

Under such circumstances, to ensure compliance with our obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal and state law, The Office of Employee Relations,  will be responsible for reviewing the request, directing the interactive process, and consulting with the unit to determine whether the requested accommodation is reasonable or undue hardship.   Employees begin this process by registering with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and providing documentation. 

Employees who have accommodations relative to remote work will have a Statement of Employee Accommodation Determination (SEAD ) and must complete a Remote Work Agreement.    

A Remote Work Agreement is required even if accommodations indicate remote work in the SEAD.  

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