Remote Workers Get Passed For Promotions: Myth or Reality?

If you’re a remote worker, you’ve probably heard that you may be setting yourself up for a stagnant career if you’re not back in the office.

And when giants like Dell push policies like these, it may scare some people into thinking that the “golden era” of remote work is over.

But is this fear truly justified, or just a lot of unnecessary paranoia?

Let’s find out the truth.

The Reality of Remote Work and Promotions

The truth is, the numbers paint a somewhat concerning picture. Studies have confirmed that managers are likelier to overlook remote employees for promotions.

And it’s not just a few industries that do this. Last year, A Resume Builder survey concluded that over half of on-site or hybrid workers would receive a promotion, compared to 42% of remote employees.

If moving up the corporate ladder is your primary goal, being in the office full-time might help you reach your goals faster.

Key Factors Contributing to the Promotion Gap

So, why does management overlook remote workers? Let’s dive into a few major culprits:

Lack of Visibility

“Out of sight, out of mind” becomes a harsh reality when you’re not in the office. Even if you’re the best on the team, managers may not understand how much you do simply because it’s not right in front of them.

It’s a significant worry for remote workers, with a whopping two-thirds feeling unsure about their bosses’ and colleagues’ decisions because they aren’t as involved in the company’s day-to-day happenings.

No wonder why many of them feel pressured to prove they’re engaged and available!

Reduced Mentorship and Feedback

Remember those brainstorming sessions over coffee or after-work drinks?

These little interactions are surprisingly powerful for growth. Sadly, remote work often makes those moments less frequent. Over time, the lack of regular guidance can unintentionally slow your career growth, making you a less viable candidate for a promotion.

Proximity Bias in Management

Even the best managers can be guilty of doing this. It’s basic human nature to want to help those we see most often.

A 2021 report revealed that 67% of supervisors view remote employees as more easily replaceable than their in-office counterparts. That same report showed that 72% of supervisors just plain prefer having an entirely in-person team.

How To Stand Out As A Remote Worker

Consistent Communication

Take some time to actually speak to your managers. Schedule those regular check-ins, share project updates, and build real interactions. To put it bluntly, don’t become a mystery employee.

And chances are, your company has awesome tech for remote collaboration, like Slack or Zoom. Use those virtual meeting tools and work them to your advantage!

Align Yourself With The Company’s Culture

Office or no office, feeling connected to your company is essential. Jump into those virtual coffee hangouts, join online discussions, and be a team player from wherever you are.

Interestingly, even though remote work is widespread, employees who feel least connected tend to have less flexibility than those who do. So, use those remote work options wisely and build strong relationships with your team.

Learn To “Manage Up”

This is about building a strong, proactive relationship with your manager. Understand their goals and priorities, and offer to help when you can. If you can help them succeed, you’ll position yourself as a valuable asset.

The Bottom Line

Remote work and landing a promotion can take some effort.

But don’t let distance hinder your career growth. Be intentional, build strong relationships, and don’t underestimate the power of strategically showcasing your value.

By getting involved and being proactive, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals!

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