Career Management in the Hybrid and Remote Work Era: Overcoming Promotion Hurdles for Remote Employees

As the world continues to embrace hybrid and remote work models, how employees who are physically distanced from their colleagues and workplace address career management and professional development has changed. After all, without the benefit of clear visibility and regular office interaction, hybrid and remote employees face a unique challenge when it comes to achieving that sought-after promotion. 

In this article, we explore the difficulties faced by remote and hybrid workers in this respect and provide effective strategies to overcome promotion hurdles in the new world of work.

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Understanding the Hybrid and Remote Work Landscape

While remote and hybrid work is nothing new, these models became a widespread reality for many workers after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. While some have resumed full-time in-office routines, many workplaces have continued to allow workers to engage in remote and hybrid work, with many making them permanent options. 

Let’s get further insight into what aspects make up remote and hybrid work models and where career advancement fits into this new dynamic. 

Key characteristics of hybrid and remote work environments

As we know, some employees are able to split the work week between days spent in-office and days worked remotely, while others work entirely remotely. It’s clear that hybrid and remote work environments offer more flexibility, reduced commuting time and an opportunity for an improved work-life balance. These reasons make hybrid and remote models of work popular among many employees whose jobs don’t require a daily in-office presence. 

However, these new models also present unique challenges, such as reduced visibility, limited interaction with colleagues, and, as a result, potential difficulties in career advancement.

The importance of career management in this new work dynamic

Effective career management in the hybrid and remote work era is crucial for employees to remain competitive, up-to-date with industry trends, and adaptable to new ways of working. 

But what’s becoming clear is that what career management looks like for remote and hybrid employees is a bit different from in-office employees. Regardless, proactively managing one’s career ensures a continuous path of growth, success and personal fulfillment.

The Promotion Hurdle for Remote Employees

Remote workers, in particular, face additional challenges when it comes to achieving important promotions for the simple fact that their physical absence is still being felt by teams and management. This can negatively impact their promotion prospects and further highlights the importance of being able to network and build key business relationships effectively.

The impact of limited visibility and interaction on career progression

Unfortunately, limited visibility and interaction with colleagues and business leaders can hinder career progression for remote employees. In effect, being “out of sight, out of mind” can lead to missed opportunities for promotions, as decision-makers may not be aware of an employee’s achievements and contributions. In fact, a Harvard Business Review report found that “employees who put in the groundwork to build solid relationships with their [senior leaders] were 82% more likely to get promoted when compared with colleagues who hadn’t stayed in touch.”

The role of networking and relationship building in remote work

To offset the effects of limited visibility, networking and relationship building are even more vital for career growth in remote work environments. Connecting with colleagues, supervisors, and decision-makers helps remote employees maintain visibility, showcase their skills, and create opportunities for advancement. Strategies that build these relationships will be some of the most effective in limiting the impact of a remote employee’s physical absence from the office.

Effective Career Management Strategies for Remote and Hybrid Workers

With many companies adopting permanent remote and hybrid work models, employees need to adapt their career management strategies in order to stay competitive and advance professionally. Let’s delve into a few strategies that have proven effective when it comes to career management for remote and hybrid workers. 

1. Establishing a strong online presence

Creating a robust online presence on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn enables remote employees to showcase their skills, achievements, and expertise outside of their team environment. Regularly updating profiles and communicating with industry professionals help maintain visibility and demonstrate career engagement and commitment, aspects that are valued by any manager.

2. Leveraging technology for networking and collaboration

Remote and hybrid workers must adapt to new communication methods and engage effectively with colleagues and leaders. This includes being responsive to messages, participating in virtual meetings, and proactively sharing updates on work progress and accomplishments. Regularly checking in with management and asking how to assist the team best are important ways remote workers can get the kind of positive attention from business leaders that can lead to a promotion.

Proactive Career Management Techniques

Proactive career management techniques are crucial for all employees seeking continued growth and advancement, regardless of whether they engage in an in-office, remote or hybrid work model. These techniques involve setting clear goals and objectives, regularly tracking progress, seeking feedback, and investing in personal development through upskilling and reskilling. 

By taking charge of their careers and actively working towards self-improvement, employees engaged in any working model can enhance their skill sets, increase their value to employers, and ultimately achieve greater success in their professional lives.

1. Setting clear career goals and objectives

Establishing well-defined career goals and objectives helps remote and hybrid employees stay focused and motivated. Regularly reviewing and updating these goals ensures alignment with the changing work environment, business needs and industry trends.

2. Regularly tracking progress and updating personal development plans

Consistently monitoring progress towards career goals and adjusting personal development plans accordingly keeps remote employees on track for success. This includes identifying skill gaps, seeking training opportunities, and staying informed about industry advancements.

3. Seeking feedback from supervisors and peers

Remote and hybrid employees should actively seek feedback from their supervisors and their peers to identify areas for improvement and growth. Constructive feedback enables employees to address any shortcomings, enhance their skills, and increase their chances of promotion as valued members of the team.

4. Upskilling and reskilling for the new work environment 

Adapting to the new work environment requires continuous learning and skill development. Just like their in-office counterparts, remote and hybrid employees should invest in upskilling and reskilling to remain competitive and increase their promotion prospects.

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Nurturing Relationships with Business Leaders

Building and nurturing relationships with business leaders is a critical aspect of professional growth and career advancement. When employees engage in a hybrid or remote work model, establishing strong connections with influential decision-makers within an organization is especially important, as it can open doors to new opportunities and provide invaluable insights into industry trends and best practices. 

By actively engaging in networking events, seeking mentorship, and demonstrating value and commitment through effective collaboration, employees can foster lasting relationships with key stakeholders. These connections not only help individuals gain visibility and recognition but also contribute to their long-term success in the dynamic world of work.

Identifying and connecting with key decision-makers

Remote employees should identify and connect with key decision-makers within their organization to establish strong professional relationships. This can be achieved through virtual networking events, one-on-one video calls, and engaging in meaningful discussions on industry-related topics.

Demonstrating value and initiative through remote collaboration

Remote and hybrid workers can showcase their value and initiative by actively participating in team projects, contributing innovative ideas, and taking on additional responsibilities. These actions help demonstrate an employee’s commitment and potential to business leaders even as they work at a physical distance, increasing their chances of promotion.

Participating in virtual events and meetings to increase visibility

Attending virtual events and meetings, such as webinars, online conferences, and company-wide gatherings, helps remote employees increase their visibility within the organization. If an event is organized with no clear option to join virtually, remote employees should consider asking if remote attendance can be accommodated. Engaging in these events provides opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing with industry professionals and business leaders.

Empower Your Hybrid and Remote Employees with Felix’s Career Management Services

It’s clear that career management in the hybrid and remote work era presents unique challenges and opportunities for hybrid and remote employees. By following the strategies outlined in this article, both remote and hybrid employees can overcome promotion hurdles and achieve professional growth in the evolving world of work.

As a talent and organizational advisor with over 30 years of experience, we at Felix understand the importance of adapting to new work environments and the need for proactive career management. That’s why we’ve assembled a team of experts across industries to provide integrated solutions for achieving excellence in talent and organizational performance. Contact us today to learn how we can help you develop a career management plan for your employees that works.

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