Remote workers less likely to get raises, promotion at work

New survey confirms fears that remote work can impede career advancement

Remote workers less likely to get raises, promotion at work

Remote employees are less likely to get promoted and receive raises compared to their counterparts who are under hybrid or fully on-site arrangements, according to a new report, validating concerns that work arrangements could impact career advancement.

In a recent survey conducted by ResumeBuilder.com, remote workers were found to be 24% less likely to receive promotions compared to their in-office colleagues.

The survey included 1,190 full-time employees whose jobs allowed remote work. It sought the responses of 417 remote workers, 567 hybrid workers, and 206 fully in-office employees.

It found that only 46% of remote workers said they were up for promotions in 2023. This is much lower than the 60% of in-office employees and 59% of hybrid workers who said they were up for promotions last year.

In terms of who got a promotion, only 42% of remote workers said they did, still much lower than the 55% of fully on-site and 54% hybrid counterparts.

The findings come amid fears across the world that not being fully in the office could slow down career advancement.

In Singapore, a survey by Universum found that 45% of Singaporean university students are concerned that their employers could be biased for in-person staff.

In Canada, a Cisco survey revealed that 46% of Canadian professionals are concerned that in-office colleagues will have more growth opportunities than remote staff.

Raise differences around remote work

Meanwhile, remote workers also lagged when it comes to receiving raises, according to the survey.

It found that only 67% of remote staff received a raise in 2023, lower than the 79% of on-site and 83% of hybrid colleagues who said the same.

Among those who received raises, only 41% of remote employees said they received a 10% increase or more. They are still behind the 51% of hybrid staff and 52% of fully on-site colleagues who got a similar amount.

Resume Builder's Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller attributed the situation to managers still struggling how to manage the new workforce after remote work became popular.

"This is resulting in some workers losing out on advancement and raises," Haller said in a statement. "Scheduling weekly or periodic meetings with managers to review their work and get feedback on how to achieve a promotion or higher salary is one way to make progress."

Most productive workers

However, one revelation from the survey was that remote workers, though less likely to advance, reported higher levels of productivity, happiness, and reduced stress compared to both hybrid and fully in-office employees.

More remote workers (78%) said they have been very productive in the past 12 months, compared to hybrid (75%) and in-office (76%) colleagues.

More remote and hybrid workers also said they felt connected to the company (85% each), higher than their counterparts who are fully in-office (81%).

The findings also unveiled a contrast in the overall job satisfaction between the three groups. Fully in-office employees reported higher stress levels and dissatisfaction at work, with 52% expressing an intention to seek new job opportunities this year. In contrast, 36% of remote workers and 43% of hybrid workers expressed a similar inclination.

"Full-time office workers are the most stressed, which is likely driving them to seek out new opportunities," Haller said.

According to the chief career advisor, employee happiness is key to retention and a productive, thriving environment for all staff.

"Workers are more likely to seek out a new position if they are unhappy. They will seek out a position that better meets their needs," she said.

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