There’s no aspect of remote work that’s not been discussed threadbare over the last few years — experts have talked about how remote work has affected productivity, experts have talked about how remote work has impacted morale, and experts have even discussed how remote work has affected office relationships. But there’s one aspect that most people haven’t touched on — how remote work has affected height discrimination at the workplace.
Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong has weighed in on the impact of remote work on height discrimination. “I think one under-appreciated positive effect of remote work has been erasing the discriminatory effect of HEIGHT, especially on perceptions of leadership ability,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We have multiple leaders in our company who are quite short, and in a normal in-person company, they would probably have had to face more of an uphill climb in establishing credibility as leaders by those around them,” he continued. “You can’t perceive height at all over zoom, so instead everyone is judged on the strength of their ideas, their ability to clearly communicate them, and how well they can convince others or argue for their point of view,” he added.
“In contrast, the extremely tall people aren’t accorded an overly-favorable perception of their leadership, so they have to prove themselves more than in-person, though accounting for absence of “positive bias” is harder to do,” Wong says.
“Most discussions of bias revolve around how it has hurt or helped certain groups along racial or gender lines – but nothing about height: some people just seem like they are 9 feet tall on the internet,” he concluded.
Others too have commented on height has been taken out of the equation in remote work — several articles have spoken about how coworkers who’d worked together for months on Zoom were surprised to find each other taller or shorter than expected when they met in person. But Yishan Wong appears to have brought out an underappreciated fact about remote work. With the advent of remote work, employers are no longer able to judge their employees’ height and this has created a more level playing field for those of all sizes. Furthermore, the ability to work from home has allowed many individuals who may have previously felt limited by their height to pursue the opportunities they desire. Remote work has been a great asset to those who have experienced height discrimination, and it is likely to continue to be beneficial in the years to come.