Working remotely has many advantages. For example, you may have the freedom to set your own hours or work from various locations. You can also be closer to your family and cut out the cost of a daily commute. However, working from home also has some potential disadvantages. One of them is you may find it difficult to obtain promotions or advance in your career as a remote worker.
In a 2014 study published by the New York Times, it was discovered remote worker productivity levels were, on average, 13 percent higher than those of office workers. However, they were 50 percent less likely to receive promotions. Similar trends still exist today. Some of that difference can be attributed to the fact that remote workers are not visible to their employers on a daily basis. Therefore, if you want to move ahead as a remote worker, you must find ways to make yourself stand out. Below are several techniques to help you get promoted or receive raises while working remotely.
Convey Your Desire for a Promotion to Your Employer Appropriately
As a remote worker, you must keep informed about promotion opportunities within your company. The best way to do so is to discuss higher positions that are available with your employer. He or she may not offer you promotions without being prompted. One reason he or she may withhold such information is the position available may require you to extend your working hours or perform some tasks in the office, rather than working on a completely remote basis. Therefore, he or she may think you will not be interested in accepting the new position. If you are open to such possibilities, you must express your opinion to your employer. However, it is also vital to select the right time and method to discuss your career advancement. You can do so using such techniques as:
- Discussing a promotion after receiving praise from your employer for your work on a specific project.
- Requesting a meeting time for the specific purpose of discussing your career advancement.
- Using the telephone or video conferencing software to discuss your promotion possibilities face to face.
Track Your Work Carefully
When you work in an office setting your employer can easily track your productivity level. Therefore, he or she can accurately assess your value as a staff member. However, as a remote worker, you do not have the advantage of being constantly visible to your employer. Only you know how productive you actually are. You can track your work by:
- Keeping a record of the hours you work.
- Listing the daily tasks you complete.
- Recording your contributions to larger group projects.
- Noting accomplishments you think have been particularly beneficial to the company.
Your employer may request records of your work from you at regular intervals. If so, he or she may request your records be kept in a specific format. If no such request is made, you are not obligated to keep records. However, you should still do so. Record keeping can have multiple uses during promotion and raise negotiations. For example, it can highlight particular skills you have that are valuable to the company. Record keeping can also illustrate the type of work ethic you have.
Tracking your work on a daily or weekly basis can also provide you with valuable insights into your own working habits. Examining your records of work will help you understand, and potentially increase, your value to the company. For example, if you examine your records and notice there are times during each week when your productivity is consistently low, you can adjust your daily routine to improve your ability to focus on work during those times. By doing so, you may be able to increase your productivity, making a promotion more likely.
Make Yourself as Available as Possible
If you work in an office, your employer can always find you when there is an urgent issue to discuss. However, he or she will not have the same luxury when you are working remotely. Therefore, if you want to portray your devotion to the company and willingness to work, you must make yourself as available as possible. You cannot be available to work 24 hours per day seven days per week, but you should make it clear you are willing to work when needed, within reason. To do so, make sure your employer has all of your contact information, including your:
- Email address
- Landline phone number (if you have one)
- Cellphone number
If you want to portray yourself as particularly committed, make it known that calls during non-business hours are also acceptable. Additionally, make sure you keep your employer informed about any times when you may be less available ahead of time. For instance, if you will be away for several days attending a family function, letting your employer know up front will show your willingness to communicate. Failing to do so, on the other hand, may lead to problems within the company and cause you to lose a possible promotion.
Be Outgoing and Reliable
It can be easy to become introverted when working remotely. Losing track of time and becoming easily distracted are also potential pitfalls when you work remotely. Therefore, staying on task and maintaining an outgoing attitude are essential for your career advancement. You must work extra hard to build relationships with your employer and co-workers. Developing a friendly rapport with them will make interactions more enjoyable and increase company-wide productivity. You can display your outgoing attitude through weekly:
- Phone calls
- Instant messaging sessions
- Video conferences
Reliability is also a key component when seeing raises and promotions. To demonstrate your reliability you must respond to messages from coworkers and your employer in a timely manner. You must also consistently demonstrate an ability to meet deadlines. Delivering work that clearly shows you have put in extra effort can also help your employer view you as a major asset. As a result, you may increase your opportunities for promotions or raises.