A Stanford professor's tips for remote managers: share your screen and arrange non-work calls to make new colleagues feel included

A Stanford professor's tips for remote managers: share your screen and arrange non-work calls to make new colleagues feel included
Nicholas Bloom William D. Eberle Professor in Economics, Stanford University.Elizabeth Viggiano
  • Remote working can impact employee progression, particularly for younger workers and mothers.
  • Nick Bloom, Stanford professor of economics and researcher, offered tips for managers.

For all the benefits of remote working, there are several downsides.

If managed poorly, hybrid working — which splits people's working time between home and the office — can inadvertently impact career progression. This in turn can create a culture that favors men over working mothers, and those who are present over those who are remote.

Survey after survey suggests that younger workers, in particular, feel held back by remote working. This is because they miss out on the chance to share their ideas and experience — known as "water-cooler" moments.

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The emergence of the Omicron variant has caused some companies — notably Google — to reassess their future working plans. Longer-term remote working could lead to those difficulties becoming entrenched if companies aren't careful.

Nick Bloom, Stanford professor of economics, has been researching the impact of remote work for two decades, and advises big tech firms about their office return. His own research has found that when it comes to younger workers, career progression can be impacted by working remotely.


This week, at Insider's Global Trends Festival, Bloom spoke to executive editor Spriha Srivastava about the long-term effects of working from home, and gave some tips on how to minimize the challenges.

He said that managers and companies need to be "deliberate" when it comes to remotely onboarding new starters.

One way is to implement more screen sharing, he said, where a supervisor or colleagues explicitly shares their screen over a video call.

"Effectively, in the office, they'll be looking over your shoulder when you're working," said Bloom.

Another tip Bloom suggested was deliberately setting up more "non-work" calls to discuss what people do outside of work. This could include talking about where they like to travel or what football team they support — just like they would in the office.


New starters, in particular, should deliberately try reaching out to people as soon as they join, to establish a relationship with colleagues before they explicitly need help, he said.

"If I come to you immediately when I have a problem, that actually feels very transactional," Bloom added.

Bloom has previously told Insider that companies should avoid giving employees too much choice over their remote-working plans, because it could cause their system "to collapse."