Worried that Working from Home Will Ruin Your Profession? Don’t

“I moved up in the company.”

As employees progress in their careers, four words that they would like to hear regularly are ‘You are promoted’. Being promoted, is a testament to the hard work, dedication and determination a person has put into their work, including the moments when they felt like giving up due to the challenge and stress. We cannot ignore the potential implications of remote working on the opportunities for career advancement and there is a worry that it may be a disadvantage in comparison to office-based employees.

Promotions are an excellent way of nurturing and cultivating talent, enabling employees to further their careers. Recent research conducted on 64 promotions in three Fortune 500 businesses revealed that work ethic, interpersonal skills, IQ, development potential, and leadership were all taken into consideration when promoting an individual. The report does not specify whether any of the employees receiving promotions were working remotely or not.

Working remotely has many advantages, one of which is that employees no longer have to worry about being watched over by their supervisor. Managers are primarily concerned with results, so it no longer matters when employees are at their desks, as long as their tasks are completed. Being successful as a remote worker is critical for career progression, and this involves not just being able to work independently, but also being able to collaborate effectively with other members of the team. This is essential for success as part of a decentralized group.

Research has demonstrated that individuals who have the capacity to work remotely generally experience higher levels of satisfaction, lower levels of stress, and increased productivity. Despite this, there are still some who are of the opinion that working remotely could be detrimental to their job and should be avoided entirely.

How can you, as a member of a remote team, expect the same professional development opportunities as members in a traditional office setting?

It is difficult to provide a precise answer to this question. The best way to get an answer is to conduct research on the particular organization that you are considering working from home for. Fortunately, there is some research available on this topic, conducted by Professor Timothy D. Golden, Area Head of Enterprise Management and Organization at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. According to the data, neither remote or in-office staff have any advantages over the other in terms of professional development or promotion opportunities. However, this is only the case if they are taking the possibility of working from home seriously.

Being the sole remote worker in an organization is quite distinct from being part of a collective of remote workers. According to prior studies, remote employees were more likely to be promoted in companies that endorsed working from home. Conversely, those in workplaces where remote working is not commonplace were less likely to progress in their careers.

Why?

It is important to note that not all telecommuting has to involve working from home on a full-time basis. Concerns regarding the longevity of remote workers may be unfounded, as it is the organization’s culture and values that ultimately determine how valued they are. With effective communication and the right systems in place, an individual working from a different continent can be made to feel as though they are part of the team and working alongside everyone else in the office.

Professor Golden’s research findings suggest that it would be beneficial for both remote and non-remote workers if corporations provided incentives for employees to extend their effort and aim for greater rewards. Without the prospect of progression and advancements in their careers, it is difficult to expect employees to put extra effort into their work. Therefore, it is essential that corporations offer rewards and incentive schemes to motivate employees to work above and beyond their job roles.

The issue isn’t with remote work and advancement in one’s profession.

It is clear that telecommuting is not the cause of the problem. What is of great importance is how organizations and managers treat both their on-site and remote employees. If you are looking for an employer who values both types of workers equally, it could make a huge difference to your career prospects.

Many people mistakenly believe that those who work from home are solitary individuals who struggle with social anxiety, due to the fact that they spend their days alone in front of their computers (and, of course, drinking copious amounts of coffee). Such misconceptions about virtual teams can often be rather comical, such as the one featured in a recent issue of The New Yorker about a remote worker who dialled 911. As a result of these false assumptions, many assume that working from home is not a viable professional option. Furthermore, there is a common misconception that working from home can impede career progression.

The trend towards remote working is continuing to increase in popularity. It is understandable that some individuals may feel apprehensive towards this prospect, due to the need to acquire new skills and become familiar with unfamiliar technology. However, it is not as difficult as it may initially seem to recruit employees who are well suited to your company’s culture and to create an environment that allows everyone to feel included and engaged.

It is often said that one cannot compare apples with oranges – the same is true of working from home. Professor Golden’s research has revealed that the majority of studies have tended to lump telecommuting workers into the same category, when in reality, each arrangement and contract is entirely unique. The success of your career when working remotely is heavily reliant on the company culture and how it deals with its distributed workforce. There is no simple answer to this; the way your employer perceives teleworking will have a profound effect on whether you’re able to reap the professional rewards from it.

Do it!

As we have experienced the numerous benefits of working remotely, we can proudly consider ourselves to be advocates for this way of working. If you are looking for a candidate to exceed your expectations, why wait? Allow us to help you find the perfect applicant for the job. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance.

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