Remote employees may want to consider spending at least some time in the office if they don’t want to be considered expendable by their managers, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests.

More than two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. managers view remote workers as “more easily replaceable” than staff who work in person, the poll found. Sixty-two percent believe full-time remote work is detrimental to employees’ career objectives, while 72 percent say they would prefer all of their subordinates to be working in the office.

In addition, 55 percent of supervisors find it difficult to manage a remote team and 42 percent sometimes forget about their remote staffers when assigning tasks, the survey showed.

The study also found that while most employees agree that remote work is beneficial and boosts performance, 59 percent said working remotely on a permanent basis would diminish networking opportunities (59 percent), cause work relationships to suffer (55 percent) and require them to work more hours (54 percent).

“With COVID-19 forcing a leap to remote work in many sectors of our economy, and organizations struggling to determine the best workforce strategies post-pandemic, there’s one fact that can’t be ignored — remote work is not ideal for everyone,” Johnny C. Taylor Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM’s president and CEO, said in the study. “Remote work can offer benefits, but employers need to take a closer look at whether remote and on-site workers have the same opportunities and whether managers have the tools they need to be effective leaders.”

The poll also found that many remote employees understand that not being present in the office may be detrimental to their career.

Thirty-four percent of workers polled felt that working remotely on a permanent basis would reduce the number of available career opportunities, while 29 percent believed they would have fewer developmental opportunities by working from home.

SHRM surveyed more than 800 supervisors and 1,004 employees on July 16-19.

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