Remote Workers Promoted Less

New York, NY, January 15, 2024-“For a while, remote workers seemed to have it all: elastic waistbands, no commute, better concentration and the ability to pop in laundry loads between calls, reports the Wall Street Journal. “New data, though, shows fully remote workers are falling behind in one of the most-prized and important aspects of a career: getting promoted. 

“Over the past year, remote workers were promoted 31% less frequently than people who worked in an office, either full-time or on a hybrid basis, according to an analysis of two million white-collar workers by employment-data provider Live Data Technologies. Remote workers also get less mentorship, a gap that’s especially pronounced for women, research shows. 

“Of employees working full time in an office or on a hybrid basis, 5.6% received promotions at their organization in 2023, according to Live Data Technologies, versus 3.9% of those who worked remotely. 

“‘There’s some proximity bias going on,’ says Nick Bloom, an economist at Stanford University who studies remote work and management practices, of the challenges facing remote workers. ‘I literally call it discrimination.’

“In the four years since the Covid-19 pandemic upended the way Americans work, forcing companies and employees alike to grapple with what it means to collaborate, leaders and rank-and-file employees have engaged in a tug of war over return-to-office efforts. While many workplaces have adopted hybrid policies or reverted to a fully in-person approach, nearly 20% of all employees with college degrees or higher still work on a fully remote basis, according to December data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Nearly 90% of chief executives who were surveyed said that when it comes to favorable assignments, raises or promotions, they are more likely to reward employees who make an effort to come to the office. In the online survey of 1,325 CEOs of large companies in 11 countries, conducted last year by professional-services firm KPMG, almost two-thirds of respondents said they expect most employees will be working in offices full-time in another three years.”