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Managerial Preferences towards Employees Working from Home: Post-Pandemic Experimental Evidence

Aga Kasperska (), Anna Matysiak and Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska
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Aga Kasperska: University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences
Anna Matysiak: University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences
Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska: University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences

No 2023-16, Working Papers from Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw

Abstract: Work from home (WFH) has been a part of the professional landscape for over two decades, yet it was the COVID-19 pandemic that has substantially increased its prevalence. The impact of WFH on careers is rather ambiguous, and a question remains open about how this effect is manifested in the current times considering the recent extensive and widespread use of WFH during the pandemic. In an attempt to answer these questions, this article investigates whether managerial preferences for promotion, salary increase and training allowance depend on employee engagement in WFH. We also explore the heterogeneity of the effects of WFH on careers across different populations by taking into account the employee’s gender, parenthood status, frequency of WFH as well as the prevalence of WFH in the team. An online discrete choice experiment was run on a sample of over 1,000 managers from the United Kingdom. The experiment was conducted between July and December 2022, and thus after the extensive use of this working arrangement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings indicate that employees who WFH are less likely to be considered for promotion, salary increase and training than on-site workers. The pay and promotion penalties for WFH are particularly true for men (both fathers and non-fathers) and childless women, but not mothers. We also find that employees operating in teams with a higher prevalence of WFH do not experience negative career effects when working from home. The findings underline the importance of individual factors and familiarisation as well as social acceptance of flexible working arrangements in their impact on careers.

Keywords: career; experiment; family; gender; promotion; work from home (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J13 J16 J21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 52 pages
Date: 2023
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-exp, nep-gen, nep-hrm and nep-lab
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