Employee perceptions of remote work are affected by gender, ethnicity and other factors, according to research conducted by the professional association Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The survey, conducted online in June, found that more women than men felt that their productivity increased during remote work (40 percent vs. 35 percent). Among the 2,900 respondents, female remote workers were more concerned about working longer hours and having fewer opportunities to network. More men than women thought that their managers would view them negatively if they worked from home, which would result in poor performance evaluations.

“Businesses that fail to understand the gender gap and other inclusion issues in remote work will see DE&I [diversity, equity and inclusion] efforts fail as women lose opportunities to network and connect with other employees,” SHRM researchers wrote in the report.

There were also differences according to ethnicity. Thirty-nine percent of Asian/Asian-American women feared remote work would result in fewer networking opportunities, compared with 25 percent of white women and women of mixed ethnicities, 14 percent of Black women and 12 percent of Hispanic/Latina women.

Among Asian/Asian-American men, 36 percent thought they would have fewer networking opportunities, compared with 15 percent of Black men.

White women and women of mixed ethnicity (43 percent and 41 percent, respectively) were more likely to think they were more productive when working remotely, compared with 35 percent of Black women, 28 percent of Asian/Asian-American women and 25 percent of Hispanic/Latina women.

Men who work in professional, scientific and technical services (33 percent) were more likely to say they would have fewer networking opportunities as a remote worker than men in construction, utilities, agriculture and mining (15 percent).

Women who had caregiving responsibilities were less likely to say they would be more productive working remotely than women without those responsibilities (37 and 43 percent, respectively), the research found.

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