Are Remote Workers Missing Career Opportunities?
By the time 2020 rolls around, roughly three-quarters of U.S. employees will be mobile workers, according to IDC estimates. Many companies are preparing by implementing remote work policies that are more immediately accessible to workers. But in addition to making mobile work more widely available, companies must also address employee concerns surrounding it – especially when it comes to millennials and career advancement.
We recently conducted a survey of 300 full-time workers, across all age groups, and our findings revealed that a significant number of young mobile workers are worried about how remote work might impact their career trajectory. According to the survey – which was conducted for West UC’s report Who Controls the Remote? - A Study on How the Mobile Workforce Works – nearly one-quarter of millennial mobile workers surveyed said they are concerned their remote work may cost them career opportunities.
How Organizations Can Alleviate Remote Worker Anxieties Surrounding Career Advancement
As the workforce rapidly mobilizes, companies should work to ensure young remote employees don’t feel their use of a mobile policy hinders their advancement prospects.
1. Prioritize Augmented Supervisor Communication for Remote Workers
Millennials value frequent communication with their supervisors in order to gauge their progress toward career advancement. But working remotely takes those in-person conversations out of the equation. For millennial remote workers, simply communicating with their supervisor throughout the day over email isn’t enough to reduce their anxieties about career advancement. That’s why companies should augment email-based communication with more direct methods of connection.
By implementing tools like video conferencing, employers can give their remote workers a channel that replicates the face-to-face communication millennials value.
2. Build a Culture that Values Remote Work
Without a workplace culture that values remote work, younger employees may feel that the practice is frowned upon. To eliminate this perception, business leaders should work to create a working environment that supports mobility and affirms its equal value to in-office work.
By implementing more direct supervisor communications and cementing a culture of support, companies can proactively reduce remote employee concerns about career advancement. But mobile workers aren’t only concerned about career progress. As our survey found, remote employees also worry their mobile work could come at the expense of enjoying office culture and good colleague communications. For more on how businesses can address these issues, download the full report.