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Virtual Work: Is it a Benefit or a Curse?

A recent Future Forum study showed that only 3% of Black Professionals want to return to the office, vs. 21% of white professionals. This reality is not difficult to understand for Black Professionals due to the lack of safety we feel and trust we have for the institution known as Corporate America. However, what I find frustrating is the narrative that virtual work is a positive change for Black professionals simply because we do not have to go into the office.

Example, I recently read an article by #BloombergEquity called “Remote Work Has Vastly Improved the Black Worker Experience" and my blood pressure rose. We all know the power of marketing and that catchy titles and quotable articles from reputable sources like Bloomberg can sway us from the ugly truth. That truth is that we have deeply embedded cultural workplace issues and more leaders should be asking WHY are Black professionals opting out of in-person work?

The Future Forum study also showed that…

  • Only 53% of Black workers said they were “treated fairly at work,” while 74% of white workers said they felt that way.

  • 54% of Black workers claimed a “good or very good” sense of belonging at work, while 70%of white professionals did.

This is the disappointing part, that basically 50% of black professionals feel mistreated and unseen in the workplace. For our listeners, and fellow Black professionals #CorporateForTheCulture is taking a front seat to this new environment of uncertainty to equip you with tactics to stay conscious of what I define as the potential new age of segregation that will leave historically marginalized groups behind.

Whether your work is completely virtual or hybrid, it is important to be intentional about how you are going to engage and hold managers accountable in terms of how teams are built and opportunities are distributed. Remember, this way of working is new to everyone but that does not mean you cannot take an active role in creating boundaries, setting expectations, and holding others accountable.

Make sure to listen to our upcoming episodes on how to strategize for this new way of working!

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