In a recent study conducted by the University of Warsaw, it has been revealed that men who work entirely from home are disproportionately overlooked for promotions and pay rises compared to their female counterparts in similar remote positions.

The findings shed light on the persistent challenges faced by remote male workers, particularly in companies with demanding corporate cultures.

The study, which surveyed 937 UK managers, indicated that bosses were 15 percent less likely to promote men who worked remotely full-time, and 10 percent less likely to increase their pay, compared to those who were office-based.

This disparity was even more pronounced in organisations with rigorous work cultures, where male remote workers faced a staggering 30 percent decrease in promotion likelihood and a 19 percent decrease in pay rise likelihood.

Lead researcher Agnieszka Kasperska highlighted the significant gender gap in remote work penalties, emphasising that the consequences for men were notably larger. She noted that while both male and female remote workers experience career setbacks, the impact on men is more severe.

Also, the study revealed that the disparity is less prevalent in companies with supportive working environments that prioritise flexibility and work-life balance. In such organisations, there was no discernible penalty for employees opting to work remotely.

What’s changed since the pandemic?

Despite these findings, there has been a disproportionate return of men to office settings since the pandemic, raising concerns about the stress and challenges faced by women, low-income workers, and individuals living alone who continue to work remotely. The report highlighted existing gender disparities in part-time roles, with a significantly higher percentage of women occupying such positions compared to men.

The debate surrounding remote work continues to intensify, with proponents advocating for its positive impact on employee well-being and work-life balance, while critics argue that it may hamper productivity and exacerbate loneliness.

Additionally, conflicting evidence on the health implications of remote work has emerged, with studies suggesting both positive and negative outcomes. While remote workers may experience lower blood pressure compared to office counterparts, they are also more prone to habits such as smoking, snacking, and weight gain.

In response to these dynamics, some companies have begun implementing stricter policies to ensure office attendance. Bank of America, for instance, issued warnings to staff failing to meet minimum office attendance requirements, while others like HS2 contractor Laing O’Rourke have mandated full-time office work, citing concerns over business continuity and employee engagement.

As the remote work landscape continues to evolve, addressing the disparities faced by male remote workers and fostering inclusive workplace practices remain critical challenges for organisations striving for equitable employment opportunities.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.