Working from home has its perks. No rush hour commutes, no formal dress code, no uncomfortable small talk with coworkers, and no smelly break rooms are just a few that come to mind. This trend is expected to grow as companies continue to be more flexible with remote workers. But working from home comes with some drawbacks, too. Not only does it impact company culture, but it also presents unique challenges when it comes to getting promoted or asking for a raise. In a traditional business setting, managers would assess your performance based off of what they saw on a daily basis, judging your efforts based of how much effort you were asserting, how dedicated you were, and how you presented yourself. Unfortunately, this process is harder for remote workers, who are often hundreds of miles from their boss. Also, it’s harder for remote workers to have ‘the talk’ with their boss or manager. Traditionally, it was simple to set up a meeting and have a face to face discussion about promotions or raises. These conversations, however, can be less personal when done virtually, making it easy for managers to make quick denials and rejections. In this article, we’ll discuss a few ways you can get promoted by working from home.
Getting a Raise or Promotion for Remote Workers
People work from home for a variety of reasons. Some have family that need to be taken care of, some have unique circumstances that prevent them from commuting to work, and others just like working in their pajamas. Regardless their reason, most remote workers are hard-workers, and want to work their way up in the company. Being away from the office and far from management can make these intentions more difficult to communicate, so we’ve created a list of tips to help you navigate your way to the top while working from home.
Use Technology as Your Advantage
When you work remotely, it’s easy to go full days, or even weeks, without in-person conversations with co-workers and business associates. However, technology shouldn’t hinder you from showing your skills and reaching milestones. Companies nowadays are implementing project management, goal tracking, and data capturing tools that let the stats speak for themselves. Remote workers can prove their worth by making sure their numbers are continuously exceeding the expectations of their managers. After a string of a few strong months of consistently hitting your goals, it would be a great time to get the promotion conversation rolling. With the numbers to back your case, it will be hard for management to completely disregard the idea.
Acquire New Skills and Be Open for More Responsibilities
If you’re really set on securing that promotion, you must be willing to take the initiative. Whether it’s training to acquire new skills, learning new tools, or trying your hand on new tasks and assignments, you have to find a way to grow in your profession. There are plenty of certifications and tools out there relevant to your job. A simple Google search about the usual career progression of your field should uncover the requirements needed to reach the next step. Taking the initiative and getting the appropriate experience and certifications will significantly improve your chances of reaching the next level.
Ask for What You Want
If you want a promotion or a raise, the onus is on you to speak up and ask for it. It’s extremely rare for a manager to offer promotions out of thin air, so you need to make your intentions obvious. Working remotely, it’s easy to hide behind your computer and avoid conversations that may turn awkward or uncomfortable. However, in this circumstance, it’s important to be the one to initiate the conversation. This means scheduling time on your boss’ schedule for a phone call, video conference, or an in-person meeting. When it comes to promotion talk, the more personal the medium, the better chance you have of connecting on an emotional level and getting a human response. With email or instant messaging, your boss will have time to think of a response or rebuttal. This allows him to come up with 'nice' ways of saying no. With mediums like video chats and in-person meetings, you can make a more heartfelt appeal.
Despite all of the advantages that people who work from home enjoy, a study conducted by Stanford University showed that those who came into the office were promoted twice as often as those who preferred to work remotely. The good news is that more companies are beginning to implement more tools and technology that makes working remotely more seamless. Communication between office workers and remote workers will improve, and mediums used to relay messages will become more personal. However, it’s still your responsibility to speak up if you want to rise through the ranks. Don’t wait around and sulk that you’re not being approached by management. Become the hero of your own story and take charge. Spend your free time earning certifications that expand your knowledge and make you a more appealing candidate. The last thing you want is to regret never taking a chance.