Why working from home could prevent your chances of scoring a promotion as bosses favour workers who ‘aren’t out of the loop’
- Career experts warned communication is crucial for those working from home
- Study from Atlassian found remote workers felt productive but ‘out-of-the-loop’
- Experts said staff must be pro-active to counter ‘bias’ towards those in the office
Australians who shifted to working from home during 2020 should keep in regular contact with their bosses if they want their career to stay healthy, experts have warned.
Research by software giant Atlassian has revealed employees working remotely are happier and more productive, however, they are also concerned about recognition and being ‘out-of-the-loop’.
Felicity Furey, executive coach and founder of the Millennial Leadership Program, agrees, adding those working away from the office shouldn’t underestimate the impact of missing out on hallway chats and post-meeting conversations.
Executive coach Felicity Furey (pictured) said staff working from home tend to feel ‘out-of-sight’ because they are and recommends being proactive in communicating with bosses
‘People are feeling out of sight because they are. Without deliberate proactive action to connect, network or informally meet peers, colleagues and leaders, we are less visible, and this can hinder career progression,’ Ms Furey told the AFR this week.
Ms Furey explained many people had gotten into the habit of sending several emails or scheduling a video meeting about a topic and forgotten about simply making a five-minute phone call.
She also advised to be aware of not just keeping in contact with your bosses but also you colleagues to gauge a sense of how others are dealing with challenges.
Many offices have adapted to hybrid way of operating over the last 12 months with a mix between staff in the office and those working remotely.
Marko Njavro, from FlexCareers, said in companies where management is office based there may be a ‘natural bias’ towards employees also in the office in terms of work allocation and sharing informal information.
He said being aware of this and making sure to keep regular lines of communication open with your bosses was crucial for those out of the office to have an even footing.
While research found those working from home were happier and more productive they were also missing out on informal information sharing (stock image)
A cafe remains open on in Melbourne (pictured) but sits empty as workers adhere to stay-at-home orders as the city begins yet a third lockdown
The Atlassian research, built from a survey of more than 5,000 workers from across Australia, Japan, Germany, and France, revealed most of those working remotely felt more productive but did miss the energy of the office.
The study also revealed those working remotely said they were actually working longer hours because of less distinction between work and home locations.
While coronavirus lockdowns and travel bans have put the idea of payrises and promotions on hold for many businesses – the experts said it’s not out of the question to be thinking about career progression.
However, they said the shifting work landscape means a different approach is needed – especially for those working from home.
Rather than relying on yearly reviews to climb the corporate ladder, they said workers who adopted a more fluid attitude and embraced communication would be putting themselves in a good position.
‘Regardless of your proximity to your boss, everything comes down to communication and how you demonstrate your value to the business,’ Gabrielle Harris, managing director at business consultancy Interchange said.
Other tips from the experts include showing initiative by up-skilling outside of work, joining industry groups or committees, or going above-and-beyond with your current tasks.
Even volunteering to take on more work or a higher role is favourable – especially if you notice your employer is struggling – as even if the offer is not accepted, you name will be forefront when there is another oppourtunity.
A deserted Melbourne CBD on Saturday (pictured) as the city begins a five day Stage Four lockdown to allow contact tracers to get ahead of a cluster stemming from hotel quarantine