How Remote Workers Can Get Promoted and Noticed

Remote worker getting promoted.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more info.

When working remotely full-time, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll be overlooked for a promotion.

So if you want to climb the career ladder, it’s important to put in the right efforts to be noticed.  

You might find it surprising that I’m saying this as a remote advocate, but there is quite a bit of truth to this and can be an issue.

And it’s mostly because you are not as visible to managers or executives at your employer. The classic phrase describes this well, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

But you can improve your odds and not all remote workers are at risk of never being promoted. Let’s look at some data and tips to ensure you get the promotion you deserve as a remote employee. 

Why It Can Be Difficult for Remote Workers to Get Promoted

If you work for a remote-first organization, your chances of being promoted are more equal to if you were in the office. 

Why? 

Because these are virtual companies where everyone is typically distributed. The culture is much stronger with better policies around remote working and everyone is on a similar playing field for career growth. 

That doesn’t mean you can slack off and expect to still be promoted. You’ll need to put in the work just like any form of work and ensure you get noticed. 

Where remote workers may go unnoticed is more in hybrid companies. Whether that means you go to the office a few days a week or your role is fully remote when others are in the office. 

Again, you are not as visible as those showing up daily.

And the data isn’t pretty for remote workers and promotions either. Here’s a few stats:

  •  The Wall Street Journal reported people working from home got promoted 31% less frequently in the past year than office-based workers.
  • In the same report, nearly 90% of CEOs reported they are more likely to prioritize in-office employees for career-advancing projects, raises or promotions.
  • In a 2021 study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that supervisors held “negative perceptions” of the work-from-home trend. Nearly 70% of managers said that remote workers were “more easily replaceable than onsite workers.” About 62% believed that full-time remote work is harmful to employees’ career objectives.
  • Remote workers also tend to be laid off more often than in-person as well. 

Oof. Not good. 

Now there are misconceptions and stereotypes being played out here around remote work.

Like those working from home are less productive or engaged. And since they aren’t physically being seen often it’s easier to ignore them or lay them off. 

Not exactly fair, but this plays out quite often.

And this isn’t meant to deter you from pursuing remote jobs, but for you to be aware. So what can you do as a remote worker to ensure you get promoted, get raises, and have your work noticed? 

How to Get Promoted as a Remote Worker

If you want to ensure job security, grow in your career, and get promotions and some raises – you need to be an advocate for yourself. 

This means making an effort to be noticed among your peers and leadership team. And also doing so without annoying co-workers or coming off like you’re bragging about yourself all the time.

Here’s a few tips to get you on the right path.

Be continuously proactive.

When you work remotely, it’s important to take initiative and practice autonomy over your work. While that is true in any job, when you are remote this becomes CRITICAL and will help you stand out.

And what I mean by this is pretty simple. 

Take ownership, let people know what you are working, and get ahead of work before a boss asks for something. The more you take control and delivery work, the better chances you’ll be considered for promotions. 

Master communication.

One of the most important skills for remote workers is communication. And this is especially true if your employer practices async communication

You need to be a master at things like:

  • Pre-meeting agendas and detailed recaps after meetings (this is important if you are leading the meetings).
  • Actively participate and share ideas in meetings, email, or Slack.
  • Be proactive (there it is again!) in your communication with co-workers and managers.
  • Ask for feedback and implement the ideas others may have.
  • Be good at reading the room and knowing how to communicate, the tone, and frequency. Everyone has preferences when working remotely, you need to adjust accordingly. 

These can apply to in-office jobs too. But honestly, you need to be more thorough when you are remote. And when you do these things, your leadership team will take notice. 

Track your own progress.

No matter what job you have, always track your progress. 

By this, think of it as your personal “swipe file” of achievements, work, and projects that can help you land promotions. Plus, you can use this for jobs you might apply for in the future. 

But when you work remotely, you aren’t as easily noticed for your accomplishments like you might in the office. It’s just easier for managers to take note of your deliverables. 

Remote-first organizations will be much better about monitoring everyone’s achievements and wins. However, set a few minutes aside at the end of the week to recap big wins or new projects completed. 

It’s as simple as Google doc or notepad where you keep track. And don’t wait to do this, otherwise you could easily forget all the awesome things you’ve done in your job. 

Continue to learn new skills.

I might be a bit corny, but I’m a fan of the “Always Be Learning” mantra. No matter how skilled or experienced you are, always take it upon yourself to learn and grow. 

  • Have discussions with your manager about your career growth, what you’d like to do, and what you can do to get there. Ask for feedback and recommendations to grow. 
  • Pending where you want your career to go, what can you invest in to learn new skills that would get you that promotion? Spend time learning and doing some of those things that show you are ready. 
  • If your company offers opportunities to learn, take them. Maybe it’s credits to school, access to online resources, training, etc. 

Be vocal about what you want.

Remember, you need to be an advocate for yourself. That means speaking up and sharing with leadership what it is you want. 

Most great managers will ask these questions of you in 1:1s, but you should also take initiative in striking up these virtual conversations. 

And if you’ve been putting in the work, it can also be time to ask for that promotion. But go into this prepared and ready to communicate your realistic needs. 

Communicate ahead on what the video meeting is about. Be prepared to back up why you deserve a promotion, and be clear as to what you want to take on. 

Final Thoughts

Working remotely has so many benefits and gives you more personal freedom. I know that I have no plan to ever go back to the office full-time again. 

Yet, this form of work is not perfect either. And you may face challenges in getting a promotion and noticed pending the company you are employed by. 

It doesn’t mean you’ll never be promoted as a remote worker. Instead, it just means you need to take a proactive stance in being your own cheerleader and communicating your value humbly.. 

Follow the tips above and continue to make noise about your quality work. You’ll soon find that you’ll be recognized and get career advancements for your efforts. 

And if you are constantly being overlooked, then it’s probably time to find a new remote job. Monitor our remote job board or join our talent network for recruiters to reach out to you about flexible working opportunities. 

Share this post 👇

About Todd Kunsman

Todd is the founder of Remote Work Junkie and has been featured in numerous publications like Business Insider, HuffPost, CNBC, and more. He’s been a remote work advocate for close to a decade and has been working remotely full-time for 5+ years. He’s also a marketing, personal finance, and music nerd 🤓

Related Articles
Work from home fatigue.
By Cora Gold • June 03, 2024

10 Ways to Prevent Work From Home Fatigue

Do you ever feel like you’re running on empty while working from home? Maybe you just feel lazy, sluggish, or

Remote employees forced back to the office.
By Todd Kunsman • March 14, 2024

5 REAL Reasons CEOs Want Workers Back in the Office

You’ve seen the headlines in the last few years (and even presently)… Company Name is mandating workers to return back

Spotting work from home scams.
By Todd Kunsman • February 20, 2024

How to Spot and Avoid Work From Home Job Scams

As exciting as it is that there are more work from home jobs available to the world, this also creates

As Seen On