remote work

Will Working Remote Limit Your Career Growth?

Will working remote limit your career advancement? This is a question that is on the minds of many executives, who realize they are losing in-person interactions by working remote. Let’s weigh the positives and negatives of working remote and then address whether this could limit your career advancement.


Let’s begin by reviewing five positive reasons for working remote.

  1. Save Money and Time

One of the greatest perks about working from home is eliminating the expense and time to commute. According to FlexJobs, the average person could save approximately $4,000 annually by working from home. This amount varies greatly depending on how you commute and where you live.

Do you grab a cup of coffee or breakfast on their way to work, go out for lunch, and occasionally stop for a drink on the way home? If you answered yes, these daily habits, could cost you thousands of dollars.

Working from home also allows you to save money on clothes. Unless you have a scheduled video call, you can wear whatever is comfortable. This dramatically reduces your dry-cleaning bills or the need to update your wardrobe, especially your professional clothing.

  1. No Geographic Restrictions

This has a positive impact on you as well we your employer. You can work anywhere in the world and companies have access to worldwide talent. 

  1. Work/Life Balance

This reason is true for some but not for others. Most individuals find balancing their family life is much easier when they work from home. Others find it extremely distracting. On the other side of this discussion, employees are working much longer hours and weekends because there is no separation between their work and home life.

  1. Improved Retention

Individuals who are working remote are more likely to be retained because they appreciate their working arrangement which increases their loyalty. In a remote work arrangement, employees can also continue working if they relocate. This removes the stress of having to find a new job due to a relocation. 

  1. Increased Productivity

Many studies have been conducted that prove employees feel more productive working from home. Employees can give their undivided attention to their work vs. being distracted by co-workers.

Working remote can also provide a flexible working schedule that allows employees to work around personal commitments.  There is no need to take an entire day off for a doctor or dentist appointment. Remote employees often start work when it best fits their schedule, they can take regular breaks and create their own work schedule.

Many employers outline what needs to be accomplished and as long as the work gets done, set hours are not critical. This type of arrangement often helps improve productivity and work/life balance. 

Next, let’s review five negatives of working remote. 

  1. Reduced Team Collaboration

There are many careers that encourage team collaboration, creativity, and innovation. These areas are often negatively impacted when a team is working remote. Zoom calls can’t compete with human interaction on a consistent basis.

It isn’t easy to get everyone together to collaborate on a project especially if the team lives in different geographic locations and time zones. It’s also easy to misinterpret virtual communication which can lead to misunderstandings that make effective collaboration challenging. 

  1. Isolation

Some employees do very well when working remote, others feel extremely isolated which can negatively impact their ability to stay motivated. A remote working environment can be extremely challenging and isolating for individuals who thrive when interacting with others.

  1. Out of Sight – Out of Mind

When companies have some employees onsite and others working remote, the onsite employees often have an edge. It’s much easier to stop by someone’s office to have a quick impromptu conversation than to arrange a formal conversation. Too often remote employees can be out of site and out of mind.

  1. Lack of Engagement or Trust

There is a fine line between micro-managing and holding remote employees accountable. Without human interaction, employees can become disengaged and the quality of work decreases. If accountability is too intensive, employees can feel there is a lack of trust. Either way this often ends up as employees becoming an expensive turnover statistic.           

  1. Difficult to Track Progress

Many companies went remote very quickly and never put processes in place to track and report progress. As a result, too often remote employees are not aware of expectations and don’t know how or when to report progress.

Will Working Remote Limit Your Career Advancement?

Earlier in this article, I mentioned the phrase “out of sight, out of mind,” you never want to become that person. Without consistent collaboration you can limit your career advancement. Think of creative actions you can take to keep your name and accomplishments in front of your superiors.

  • It will be up to you to keep informed of major projects so you can volunteer to be included and be recognized for your efforts.
  • Stay connected and enhance your skills and experience by working with other teams within your company.
  • Always turn on your camera when you participate in virtual meeting.
  • Seek out any opportunities to improve your own professional development.  This could include taking courses, attending events, and participate in training programs provided by your company.
  • If there is a professional certification in your profession, earn the certification at your own expense.  Often your company will volunteer to reimburse you for your efforts.
  • Know your next promotion or career move and prepare yourself for the requirements of your future position.
  • Whenever possible, go onsite which helps you interact with others and cultivate strong working relationships.
  • Utilize mail to thank coworkers, supervisors, or other executives for their assistance on any project.
  • Provide a heads-up about issues you feel are relevant for your company to address, by staying abreast of trends.
  • Participate in any after work social functions if geographically it makes sense.
  • Promote onsite team building opportunities.

These actions will help you stay top of mind with company executives, help you build rapport and trust, and improve communication and collaboration. This will help you advance and grow with your company, even in a remote working environment.



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