Can Working from Home Affect your Promotion Opportunities?

Working from home certainly has its benefits - no morning or after work commute, more time with your family, savings on travel to work, etc.

In a recent poll I ran, 58% (over half) of respondents deemed promotion as the most important factor for career progression.

But can working from home affect your chances for promotion in your work place?

The problem of inequity in promotion between remote and in-person workers has existed since well before the pandemic forced many people into home-work situations. In a 2015 study, researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that while people working from home were more productive – 13% more to be exact – they weren’t rewarded with promotions at nearly the same rate as their in-office colleagues.

Studies conducted with workers and management have found there were two major reasons for the lower rate of promotion among the remote workers. People who weren’t in the office didn’t develop relationships and managerial skills as readily or didn’t have the opportunity to demonstrate those skills. Plus, when the people giving out the promotions aren’t getting any facetime with remote workers, you’re basically forgotten about. “Out of sight, out of mind”.


Best Tips for Promotion if WFH

  • Even if you’re remote, you should insist on a regular weekly check-in with your manager on a video chat platform. This is a great way to discuss your successes of the week, stay on top of company information and lay out your inquiries. 
  • Bring up your career goalsone week, for example, and ask your boss if they believe a promotion is the next step. Ask what skills are needed to achieve the promotion and demonstrate that you have utilised these skills at the next meeting. Ultimately, if your manager is on your team, they will help you get a promotion approved.
  • Proactively build relationships remotely with your colleagues. Share work that you’re proud of and credit those involved. Send colleagues praise when they hit a benchmark. Send a friendly, gracious response to emails sent to you, if appropriate. Try to work directly with as many people as possible in and out of your team, if possible.
  • Consider a change of company. If you’re not getting the answers you want at your current position, consider switching companies and moving up via a different ladder. It may seem like a risky, impossible idea, but never assume. 


As an employer, giving staff the opportunity to get involved in projects outside their normal job remit, communicating and recognising when your staff are showing the skillsets for a future star within your business and setting out clear targets for all staff that can be achieved be it WFH or in the office.

Posted by: Matthew Milburn