The Benefits of the Remote Working Culture for Black Men
By Lucy Wyndham
Last year there were 8.7 million Black people (about 10%) out of a total of 87 million people in the US labor force. However, Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and from the most well-to-do backgrounds, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds. While Black people continue to face discrimination and difficulties surrounding the stress of maintaining a healthy career, advances in technology and the landscape of corporate America are finally giving them the leg up they need to get and stay ahead.
Stressors Affecting Black Males
Studies show that the top five stressors of Black men are money and finances, racism, jobs and their careers, relationships and family and their health. The lack of economic opportunities and the ability to make ends meet seems to be the biggest stressor, followed by negative racial experiences and difficulties finding or keeping a job, sometimes due to these particular racial experiences. In fact, anti-black hiring racism is reportedly still as high today as it was in 1989, with one study showing that white applicants receive 36% more callbacks than equally qualified African Americans. While it is clear that Black men in corporate America are still at a disadvantage, it is slowly becoming obvious that, as technology advances, this group of workers can take advantage of innovation to increase their job satisfaction and success.
Technology & Remote Work Changing the Job Landscape
Remote work and telecommuting technology allows African Americans to continue to perform their jobs in an excellent manner while conversing and collaborating with others from various different cultures. By frequently working together on projects from various different locations around the country or globe, people in different locations and from different backgrounds and teams can learn to understand the efforts, abilities and challenges unique to each employee. This not only fosters workplace unity and engagement, it is a great way for employees to learn about others different than themselves in a way they might not have had the chance to before. This benefits Black men, specifically, as they often cite feelings of being misunderstood and under represented within the workplace.
Opportunities for Entrepreneurship
Remote working has actually been shown to improve a company’s culture, which can lead to an increase in overall employee satisfaction, engagement and the types of risks they are willing to make. The shift to flexible, remote jobs has changed the job landscape to be more lateral. This means that leadership management teams are being cut out of the middle and employees have easier access to CEOs when pitching their ideas and receiving feedback. Where this type of access to the top dog was once difficult to find, remote working allows employees to feel comfortable sharing their ideas in a way that can get them noticed and allow them to grow in their own individual pursuits. As long as Black men continue to improve their skills regarding remote working applications and technology and stay well-informed of the changes in their particular industry, they will be able to reap the benefits of a culture that permits them to dream, succeed and thrive.
The Future of Remote Working
More and more companies around the world are adopting remote working policies and positions. While many people in the workforce can benefit from the increase in job satisfaction, productivity and innovation that remote working allows, Black men in particular can use the opportunity to find success. These types of positions allow Black men to access their entrepreneurial spirit while also decreasing the amount of exposure they have to negative racial experiences on the job that seem to contribute to low self-esteem that can prevent job growth.