Think Working Remotely Won’t Hurt Your Career? The WSJ Says Don’t Be So Sure

Woman Working Remote in her kitchen
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Your company might say they are fine with you working remotely, but are they really?

If you have had the suspicion that you being home might be hurting your ability to move up, the Wall Street Journal says your hunch could be correct.

Part of that is a matter of practicality. For instance, people with management positions often cannot complete all of their work virtually and would need to be prepared to physically meet with others.

So if you have designs on an upper-level position, working from home in your current role could indicate to your boss that you are not developing the experience to be ready for that responsibility.

However, a lot of it is also perception. At home, you could absolutely be there virtually for every meeting and contribute with valuable ideas. But you are not getting any casual face time afterward.

Part of moving up is about your personality and you are receiving fewer chances to showcase that when corresponding through emails or Slack.

The WSJ article refers to this as proximity bias. In essence, people have more trust in those they are closer to. While it is certainly possible to complete assignments without interacting as much, it unavoidably does strip away some of the emotional connection.

If you are one of the remote workers at a company where many others are also physically in the office, you kind of place yourself outside of the day-to-day team.

As for ramifications this could have on your earning potential, the WSJ article did find that both remote and on-site employees still received promotions and raises. However, they also found that remote workers are generally slower to receive those pay increases.

This could be a side effect of the disproven notion that remote workers are not as productive. Despite evidence showing there is no truth to that claim, it is a difficult stigma to shake.

All this indicates that while you may enjoy the convenience of working remotely if you want to advance up the ladder, you might need to start making more of an appearance.

For more to bear in mind about how working from home could affect how you are perceived, read the Wall Street Journal article here.

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Jacob Morgan, a keynote speaker and best-selling author explores what impact working from home will have on your career.

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