I advanced in the organisation.
Advancement in one’s career is often associated with the phrase “You are promoted”, which recognises an individual’s hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It is a reward for facing challenges and overcoming stressful situations. However, with the rise of remote working, there is concern that it may hinder opportunities for career growth, particularly when compared to those employees who work in an office environment.
Nurturing and developing talent can be achieved effectively through promotions, as it offers an opportunity for employees to progress in their careers. A study conducted on 64 promotions across three Fortune 500 companies found that work ethic, interpersonal skills, intelligence quotient (IQ), development potential, and leadership were all key factors taken into account when promoting an individual. However, there is no mention in the report about whether any of the promoted employees were working remotely.
Remote work offers numerous benefits, one of which is that employees no longer need to work under constant supervision. As long as tasks are completed and results are delivered, managers are satisfied. Therefore, success as a remote worker is paramount for career advancement, not only by demonstrating independence but also by effectively collaborating with other team members. Being part of a decentralized team requires this collaborative approach to succeed.
Studies have shown that individuals with the ability to work remotely often experience improved job satisfaction, reduced stress levels, and increased productivity. However, there are still those who are skeptical about remote work and believe it may negatively impact their work, leading them to avoid it altogether.
As a member of a remote team, how can you access the same professional development opportunities offered to those in a conventional office environment?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. Researching the specific organisation you are considering for remote work is the best approach. Fortunately, there is existing research conducted by Professor Timothy D. Golden, Area Head of Enterprise Management and Organization at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which reveals that neither remote nor in-office workers have an advantage over the other in terms of professional development or promotion opportunities. However, this is applicable only if the remote workers take their work seriously and are committed to their responsibilities.
Being the only remote worker in an organisation is quite different from being part of a group of remote workers. Previous research has indicated that remote workers were more likely to receive promotions in companies that supported remote work practices, while individuals in companies where remote work was not common were less likely to advance in their careers.
It’s worth noting that telecommuting can take many different forms, including working from home on a full-time basis. Worries about the longevity of remote work are unnecessary as the organisation’s culture and values decide how much they value their remote workers. With the proper infrastructure and effective communication in place, a team member working from another country can feel like they’re working side-by-side with everyone in the office.
According to Professor Golden’s research, both remote and in-person employees would benefit if companies provided incentives for individuals to put in extra effort and achieve greater rewards. Without the possibility of professional growth and career advancement, it is difficult to motivate employees to go beyond their job duties. Therefore, it is pivotal for corporations to provide reward and incentive programs to encourage workers to deliver their best performance.
The problem lies not in remote work and career growth.
It is evident that remote work is not the issue. The key factor is how organisations and managers treat their in-office and remote employees. If you’re searching for an employer that values both types of employees equally, it can make a significant impact on your career growth.
There is a common misconception that individuals who work from home are solitary and struggle with social anxiety, as they spend most of their time alone in front of a computer screen (and constantly consume coffee). However, these stereotypes about virtual teams are often amusing, such as the humorous story in a recent issue of The New Yorker about a remote worker who dialled 911. These false assumptions have led many people to believe that working from home is not a feasible career option. Additionally, there is a mistaken belief that remote work can hinder career advancement.
The trend towards remote work continues to gain popularity. Although some individuals may be hesitant about this idea due to the need to acquire new skills and become familiar with unfamiliar technologies, it is not as challenging as it may appear to hire employees who fit well with your company culture and foster an environment that promotes inclusiveness and engagement for everyone.
Just as one cannot compare apples to oranges, the same goes for working from home. According to Professor Golden’s research, the majority of studies tend to group telecommuting employees into a single category, even though each working arrangement and contract is unique. Your career’s success while working remotely depends significantly on the company culture and how it manages its distributed workforce. There is no straightforward answer; your employer’s perception of telecommuting will have a significant impact on your ability to achieve professional growth.
Go for it!
Having personally experienced the multitude of advantages of remote work, we wholeheartedly advocate for this work style. If you are seeking a candidate who can exceed your expectations, why delay? Let us assist you in finding the ideal applicant for the position. Please feel free to reach out to us for further support.