Are virtual organizations throwing traditional career advancement paths out the window? Sort of — some say remote work deserves special attention, others say it really helps increase opportunities.
There is data to suggest that businesses are currently grappling with issues affecting access to career advancement opportunities. A recent survey of 500 executives by Robin Powered, Inc., found. When asked whether visibility in the office is an important factor when conducting employee performance reviews, 61% of employers said “it does not factor into their decision and does not affect the overall performance review.” However, 62% also say that time in the office is a “somewhat” or “very important” factor for employees receiving promotions or raises.
A study by the Office Virtual Alliance found that remote workers were 38% less likely to receive bonuses than their in-office counterparts, worked almost 50% more overtime, had worse performance reviews, and most lived in fee-paying areas. higher than average. life.
“The jury is still out on this question,” says Darryl Rice, PhD, assistant professor of management at the University of Miami. “It depends on what kind of career development we are discussing. For example, if we are discussing career development that can be completed through online modules, there is no difference between a virtual organization and a face-to-face workplace. However, when it comes to career advancement, sponsorship becomes very important and key decision makers usually have a higher level of trust with the employees they have worked with on a personal and intimate level.”
The risk that exists with remote and hybrid career advancements is the “accidental inequality” that arises from not building the right infrastructure, said Dan Manian, CEO and co-founder of Donut, a provider of collaborative platforms. “It’s easier to form organic relationships in an office environment, with lots of points of contact for casual conversation. Employees working from home don’t get the same amount of face-to-face time, especially for non-work-related conversations that lead to close personal relationships.”
However, others believe remote and hybrid work can help boost careers in new ways. “When it comes to career advancement, we’ve found that working remotely is just as important,” said Diana Brown, chief of staff at Eco, a personal finance platform. “Opportunities for directly present bias—clothing, weight, height—are non-existent in remote environments. With everyone working different hours in different cities—including our leadership team—workgroups are essentially non-existent. And neither receives the added benefit of facetime or proximity bias. Most importantly: because we don’t know when people are working, we don’t value effort or long hours. We value output and results.
There are proactive ways that companies do to address issues surrounding career advancement. At Globant, a deliberate effort to incorporate advancement opportunities into the corporate culture helps provide more equal access to advancement opportunities. “We allow all of our teams to be independent and employees decide how they want to handle their careers within the company,” said Patricia Pomies, chief operating officer of Globant, an AI development company. “This year, we launched Open Career, where each ‘Glober’ can define their own career path, without relying on a single leader. Globers can migrate to any project they want and only have to wait three weeks for a response. It is a more autonomous, bold and agile career marketplace where every Glober can have the power to apply to any project — any client and any industry — at any time.”
Additionally, “through the internal platform, each Glober can view all open positions across Globant’s more than 3,000 active projects, and choose their next career move in a completely independent manner,” said Pomies. “This process is in effect, and all permit requests and barriers are gone. Keeping this in mind, with these tools, it doesn’t even depend on being a remote worker or on-site worker, it depends on your autonomy and your decisions to shape your career.”
For companies with more traditional hierarchies, remote workers who want to progress at the same pace as on-site employees “may need to chart a different path to get there,” suggests Tracey Power, chief people officer at Vaco, a talent solutions provider. “Remote workers may need to allocate more time for networking with co-workers, engaging in initiatives that are worthwhile but not core to the person’s function, contributing ideas and serving as thought leaders, scheduling regular but purposeful — perhaps monthly — visits to the office to meet with key leaders about strategic ideas and plans, and training, mentoring or professional development opportunities.”
The point is that the criteria apply equally to all employees, regardless of location. This call for a new approach to leadership focuses on opportunities for remote and hybrid employees. “A face-to-face leadership strategy doesn’t always translate with the same effectiveness in remote and hybrid worlds,” says Manian. “Leaders must consider their management strategies to better address these equity issues. For example, they could introduce regular one-on-one links between senior leaders and more junior employees. In remote and hybrid workforces, leaders must think critically about existing infrastructure to ensure all employees have equal employment opportunities, wherever they work. Think critically about how to involve all employees, and put policies in place to avoid preferential treatment for people who work in offices.”