Remote Workers Report More Career Success Than In-Office Peers

Those who work from home more likely to score promotions, survey shows
A woman works from home

If you’ve been angling to find a job that lets you work remotely, you might want to redouble your efforts, as a new survey suggests that remote working can boost career success.

Human resources technology company Ultimate Software set out to assess perceptions about remote working. To do so, it surveyed 1,000 full-time employees who work for companies that have both remote and in-office positions. Half of the respondents worked primarily remotely, while the other half worked in-office most of the time.

Anyone worried that working remotely could hinder them from moving up in an organization needn’t be concerned, the study suggests. In fact, remote workers were 40% more likely to have been promoted in the past year than those who worked in an office.

One reason remote workers may be experiencing more success: They’re more likely to work longer hours, the study showed. Approximately 76% of remote workers said they exceeded their set working hours on a weekly basis, compared to 62% of in-office workers.

Remote workers also tend to be more bullish about their futures within the organization, as remote working respondents were 27% more likely to believe there was ample growth opportunity in their current roles.

Remote workers were also less stressed out, the survey found. Half of remote workers (50%) said their working location contributed to less stress, compared to 19% of on-site workers who feel that way. Remote working also offers other perks such as a casual wardrobe — in fact, 56% of remote workers said they dress casually all the time, compared to only 27% of employees who work in the office.

And while some may worry that remote workers may be isolated and feel less connected to the workplace and their colleagues, survey responses showed the opposite. Remote workers were actually more likely to reach out if they had a problem than those on site. Nearly half — 43% — of remote workers said they “often” or “very often” reach out to the human resources department to resolve issues. Comparatively, only 33% of in-office employees said they are as likely to contact HR.

Nor are managers less in touch with remote staff, as 75% of managers said they provide feedback at least once a week to in-office employees, and 73% said they provide feedback at least once a week to remote employees.

However, remote workers do face some challenges. According to the survey, remote working respondents were nearly twice as likely as those who work in the office to feel like they are “frequently” misunderstood by their colleagues; a third even said this was a common occurrence.

As remote working becomes more common, employees will have to figure out how to make it work for them. Technology can make it easier for employees to keep in touch with their coworkers and managers, but everyone should be proactive about ensuring that the lines of communication stay open.

If you’re currently in the job market, you might want to express your desire to work remotely during the job negotiation process, as some employers could be willing to offer working off-site as a benefit.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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