Does Telecommuting Keep Workers from Advancing Their Careers?

Jennifer McDowell
Posted by in Career Advice

In this digital age, more and more people are being given the autonomy to be able to work from home. There are a myriad of pros and cons that go along with such a work opportunity, but a lingering concern remains: “Will making such a move cause promotions to come to a standstill?” As usual, it’s a bit complicated, and the answer can be both yes and no. It depends on the company you work for. So, if you are in a situation where you’re working remotely and it feels like it’s a bit tougher to climb the corporate ladder, here is some helpful information to make sure you don’t get overlooked by the big wigs!


Recently, in an article for, Tom Schoenfelder, Ph.D., outlined some of the challenges that can come along with being a telecommuter. Isolation from company culture, fewer networking opportunities, and lack of “face-time” are a few he mentions. It can be a possible impediment to ambitious employees working from home. These obstacles aren’t insurmountable though, and if you have a good communication strategy, you can continue to reap the success from the hard work you put in—no matter where your office is located.


A few suggestions that can help mitigate such complications are:

If applicable, stop by the office occasionally. You’ll get some face time in!

Make sure you know what the company expects from you. Is it enough to get the work done? Do you need to be available certain hours of the day? Be clear about what they expect, so you can ensure they know you’re giving them your best.

Keep track of your work and make a list of your professional accomplishments in between talking to management. Then, when it comes time to have a conversation, you don’t have to think twice about what you’ve successfully done.


Respond promptly to emails and phone calls as you’re able.  Remember, it’s all about communication!


Timothy D. Golden of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute says that while there are some problems, “the situation isn’t as bad as the stigma suggests. The biggest success factor is whether the organization itself promoted the idea of telecommuting.” For example, if the company in general has a larger portion of the workforce remote, the employees feel more at ease with their opportunities. If that’s not the case, they feel like the odd man out and the culture can trend toward rewarding in-office folks first.


Advancing your career always takes a little gumption, whether you’re here, there—anywhere! The idea is to communicate it properly so that your request receives a warm reception. Keep all the usual formalities of a respectful request for a raise or promotion—you may just need to be a bit bolder than your in-office colleagues and broach the subject first.  Remember, there is a myriad of bonuses that come from being a remote employee. You don’t have to spend time commuting back and forth! There are lots of office distractions that you don’t have to deal with, making it easier to focus on your work and be more productive. And one of the coolest benefits of all include giving you an opportunity to improve your work/life balance, and give you the chance to spend time on other varying pursuits. Don’t forget to count the pros and cons of whether or not it’s an avenue you want to go down. That being said, when you go above and beyond in your work life, it’s a message no one can ignore!



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  • sylvia  l.
    sylvia l.

    Can I do telemedicine at home?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Nadira A. thanks for your comment. Working from home on a permanent basis is not for everyone. I sometimes feel - out of sight, out of mind. But they can see the work that I do - know that it's getting done in a timely manner. Will it hurt your career? Maybe in some industries it would. But I think that companies have discovered that they can get more production from their workers when they are working from home. It really surprised some companies when they did a comparison of the work production in the office compared to the work production when working remotely. I think that more companies are going to offer the work from home option to more of their workers in the future.

  • Nadira A.
    Nadira A.

    Thank you for the insight! I have been contemplating this for a long time, and while I have been looking forward for an opportunity, , still do look forward, I did have concerns.

  • Guillermo G.
    Guillermo G.

    Thank you for sharing and look forward to an opportunity, if possible, Regards and all the Best,!

  • Guillermo G.
    Guillermo G.

    Thanks and look forward to more info and sharing your information

  • Adeyemi A.
    Adeyemi A.

    Telecommuting is a great hospitality career

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