According to a Vox article, there is a dangerous line between arguing for remote work and arguing yourself out of a job. Remote workers are less visible than full-time office employees. Communication and collaboration could also be lacking due to the less personal interactions.
Since remote workers are less visible than office employees, they will have to find other ways to let higher-ups know they exist or risk being passed over for pay raises and promotions.
Johnny Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, believes that remote workers will find it harder to advance than their in-person colleagues.
He stated that 67% of supervisors consider remote workers more easily replaceable than onsite workers, and 62% believe fully remote work is detrimental to employees’ career objectives. “Managers acknowledged that when they are looking to give an assignment, they oftentimes forget the remote worker. Proximity matters,” Taylor added.
Meanwhile, Julie Whelan, global head of occupier research at CBRE, said that there is a risk that people who get more face time are naturally at an advantage to advance faster than others.
Another expert weighing in on this issue is Matthew Kahn, an economics professor at the University of Southern California and business author. According to him, face-to-face interaction helps build up trust and friendship. If bosses play favorites, then the remote workers will have a disadvantage in getting promoted.
To address this dilemma, Whelan said that a flexible working company must discuss their behavior around promotions and compensation gains early to their employees.
Khan added that remote workers should be given a chance to visit their headquarters for a few days per month to maintain their physical visibility —albeit for just a short time — in the organization.
Those firms that figure out these new work configurations will have an edge in attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce.
Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University and co-founder of WFH Research, said that moving the workforce into a hybrid status could improve personal interaction. While remote workers are at risk of being forgotten, hybrid workers could get a “ good dose of personal interaction” with their colleagues at the company.
While full-time remote work is attractive for most employees today, being present at the office still has its advantages. For one, your supervisors will most likely not forget you, as well as easily recognize all the work that you’ve done in the company.