Career Corner: In a Post-Pandemic Workplace, Are Remote Workers at a Disadvantage for Promotions?

Despite restrictions now lifting, many workplaces are offering employees the choice to either return physically or remain remote. You might choose the latter assuming that since you have been able to perform your job just fine from afar during the pandemic lockdown, that continuing to stay virtual makes no difference.

However, your decision to work from home might impact you when consideration for promotions occur.

Rachel Feintzeig explains why in the Wall Street Journal, saying despite evidence to the contrary, many bosses assume employees who choose to work from home aren’t pulling their weight.

In fact, this stigma is so prevalent, that in a survey for the Korn Ferry research firm, 60% of the 581 employees surveyed said they feared it would hurt their ability to be promoted if they voluntarily worked from home.

That employers would still hold negative assumptions about remote work despite the last two years has experts confused. During the pandemic, many were forced to work from home and did their jobs just as well as when they were in the office.

The only difference is employees now no longer had the hassle of traffic to deal with.

Still, the negative stigma persists. It is not logical, but emotions are hard to argue against. And it even leads to remote employees being treated as an afterthought when delegating responsibilities.

While you can’t singlehandedly change that perception, Feintzeig does offer some tips for remote employees. For one, she recommends making sure you have someone in the office to look out for you so you aren’t being forgotten during meetings and missing out on important conversations.

For those interviewing for remote work, Feintzeig suggests inquiring if any of the leaders work from home, as that will likely indicate if those in charge truly endorse this style or not.

Being a distant member of the team will undoubtedly come with challenges. Make sure you are assessing your unique workplace to determine if it is genuinely virtual-friendly or not. Just because your job offers the option does not necessarily mean they will be okay with it.

For more information about how remote work may be handled in the new post-pandemic work climate, read the Wall Street Journal’s article here.

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