How the ‘Zoom ceiling’ might hurt your chance of promotion - Deepstash

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Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

When given the choice, the majority of workers would prefer to work remotely. And flexibility is one of the most important benefits when candidates consider a new job. But working from home can have a hidden downside.

Remote workers aren’t getting the same amount of recognition for the work that they are doing. In particular, there’s research that remote workers are working longer hours, actually performing better, but 50% less likely to get promoted.

Managers may not be recognizing the contributions of the remote worker because they don’t see them on a day-to-day basis.

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Manager Bias

Manager Bias

There’s also the implicit idea that remote workers may be seen as making a choice to put work second and family or other responsibilities first.

Many CEOs have publicly voiced against remote work, and there are many who may be thinking the same but not expressing it publicly.

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What Managers Need To Do

Managers have a responsibility to make sure they’re treating remote workers equally, says Voyles. The first step is to formalize remote work. At the beginning of the pandemic, many organizations scrambled to set up employees at home, and procedures weren’t well-thought-out or established.

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Well-Defined Guidelines And Procedures

Companies should make it clear how long employees should work each day. Establish specific hours, expectations, and outcomes. Give employees a guide so that they know exactly what’s expected of them.

When there’s ambiguity in-person, employees can walk up to their managers and ask questions. Remotely requires reaching out for a meeting and schedule that. Take away that ambiguity and make everything crystal clear.

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Regular One-On-Ones

Managers should also set up regular one-on-one meetings with employees to make sure they’re connecting on a regular basis(with a minimum of once every two weeks).

This is where employees can learn the feedback on their work, and managers can give the recognition that the remote workers are contributing.

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Meeting Equality

Establish equality during meetings in which some workers are in the office and others are at home. When there are some people in person in the same room and other people who are logging in, they don’t get to hear and participate in those side conversations, and they can feel excluded.

If anyone is online, everyone should be online.

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Standardize Performance Evaluation Methods

So many organizations are using the same strategies and methods to evaluate performance when we’re working in a completely different way when we’re remote.

Ensure that whatever assessment method they create is equal in terms of its ability to assess in-person performance and remote worker performance.

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The Zoom Ceiling

The Zoom Ceiling

Women, people of colour, and people with disabilities are more likely to be affected by the ‘Zoom ceiling'. Women may be making a choice to work remotely in order to balance their work with home and family responsibilities that are often placed upon them.

For racial minorities, there’s quite a bit of research coming out that they’re experiencing a more pleasant work environment and fewer microaggressions when they’re working remotely. So, they’re likely to pick remote work as an option. People with disabilities may have remote work as accommodation.

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What Employees Can Do: Self Promotion

Don’t be afraid of a little self-promotion. Letting a manager know your recent accomplishments can be really beneficial for remote workers because it’s not something a manager will have readily overheard as they would in the office.

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What Employees Can Do: Keep Regular Hours In Remote

Consider keeping regular hours, even if they’re not 9 to 5. I think one of the worst things that can happen for remote employees is if their manager reaches out to them and can’t get in touch.

That can paint the picture in the manager’s eyes that the remote worker is not on task or is flaking on their job duties. Make sure it’s predictable when people can contact you. It helps with showing that you’re dedicated. In many ways, remote workers have more to prove.

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