Many employees love working remotely. But there’s something they’re afraid of – being passed over for promotions.
Are they correct? Is it really “out of sight out of mind” when it comes to remote employees?
Whether that’s the case or not, that’s what they believe.
While 32% of employees surveyed prefer the hybrid work environment, 43% believe that if they want to advance their career, they need to work in the office. At least that’s what the study “The New Hybrid Workplace, Built on Resilience, Transparency, and Trust” found.
The study, conducted by meQuilibrium and Executive Networks, surveyed nearly 1,000 employees.
Other studies, such as one by GoodHire, have found that 68% of employees would rather work from home. So the percentage of people who believe out of sight means out of mind when it comes to promotions could be even higher.
By now you know that a remote or hybrid work environment can lead to lower morale, greater stress and uncertainty. And that has a big impact on your retention.
“It is no longer true that being physically present in the office results in more opportunities for career advancement, as the past two years of remote and hybrid work have shown,” said Jeanne Meister, Executive VCP, Executive networks. “For those employees working hybrid or remotely, the avenues for increasing their visibility within the organization are not always clear-cut.”
That’s why it’s so important to have solid, written policies and procedures for the new work environment. You don’t want things like misconceptions affecting your retention.
HR professionals have mostly focused on in-office employees because that’s what they were used to before the pandemic. But times have changed, and their focus has changed.
Now, HR/Benefits policies must address and provide support for on-site, hybrid and remote employees.
In the survey, business leaders were asked if their organization had well-defined hybrid work policies, and 66% replied yes. But when the same question was posed to employees only 47% agreed.
This disconnect can be troublesome. Poor communication and employee disagreement can have major consequences, such as burnout and quitting.
In the survey, 44% of employees who said they didn’t have clear hybrid work policies experienced burnout. That’s compared to 27% who say they did have clear hybrid work guidelines. And the “don’t haves” are 60% more likely to jump ship.
“Burnout and intent to quit are significant, persistent problems that not only impact employee well-being, but are detrimental to the entire organization,” said Jan Bruce, CEO and co-founder, meQuilibrium. “Leaders should address misperceptions that hybrid work is less effective for one’s career advancement and relieve uncertainty among workers who are trying to succeed in the new workplace by providing essential support for all employees, whether they are remote, hybrid or onsite.”
As Benefits pros, you may want to survey your remote/hybrid workers to see if they feel supported. Because people who don’t feel supported struggle more with burnout and lower morale. This leads to a higher likelihood they’ll quit.
Provide clear communication
If there is one major takeaway from this report, it’s there’s often a disconnect between what leaders believe and what employees perceive.
Survey them, find out what they truly believe and give them what they need which is clearly defined hybrid work policies.
Let remote/hybrid employees know they have just as much of a chance at a promotion as an on-site employee. They need to know your company has thought about this and revamped their career path policies to accommodate the new work environment.
You can do this by:
- making sure remote/hybrid employees have the same technology tools as onsite employees, so they can brainstorm and collaborate with their colleagues at the drop of a hat
- creating policies that ensure equitable access to career development opportunities, and
- training supervisors how to manage people they hardly ever see in person.