Have you returned to the office or do you still work from home? This decision could affect your career moving forward. There are certain trade-offs to be expected when you choose to work remotely. One big one can be compensation and promotion opportunities. 

I talked to our Legal recruiters in Toronto about this topic and they are of the mind that if you choose to work remotely, you could be reducing your chances of getting serious consideration for a promotion. However, this will vary based on your industry and company. For example, if you work in tech for a company where a lot of people work from home, then in-office workers may not be more likely to get a raise or promotion. But for more traditional industries, this seems to be the case. 

So, to verify this fact, I did some research to see if there are studies and surveys to back up the claim that in-office workers are more likely to get raises and promotions. Here’s what I found:

  • In-person workers are more likely to get raises and promotions
  • People still choose to work hybrid because they are less stressed and more productive
  • If you feel overlook for a raise, there are steps you can take to raise your profile within your organization

Are In-Person Workers More Likely To Get Promotions and Raises?

A Cisco survey found that 46% of Canadian professionals are concerned that in-office colleagues will have more growth opportunities compared to remote workers. These concerns have merit. 

In-person workers are more likely to get raises and promotion opportunities compared to remote workers. This includes those who work from home full-time or have a hybrid schedule. According to statistics curated by Human Resources Director provide context to the situation:

In-office workers are more likely to get promoted

  • Remote workers are 24% less likely to receive promotions compared to their in-office workers.
  • Only 46% of remote workers said they were up for promotions in 2023.
  • 60% of in-office employees and 59% of hybrid workers were up for promotions in 2023.
  • Only 42% of remote workers said they received a promotion, while 55% of fully on-site employees and 54% of hybrid workers were promoted.

Based on this data, it is clear that in-office and hybrid workers are offered more opportunities to get a promotion compared to remote workers. 

In-office workers are more likely to receive raises

  • 67% of remote workers got a raise in 2023.
  • 79% of on-site and 83% of hybrid colleagues got a raise in 2023.
  • Of those who got raises, only 41% of remote employees said they received a 10% increase or more. 
  • 51% of hybrid staff and 52% of fully on-site colleagues got a similar amount.
  • Remote workers are 38% less likely to get a bonus, and less likely to receive training opportunities.

So, Why Work Hybrid If It Could Hurt Your Ability to Make More Money Or Get A Raise?

When you look at the above stats, it can cause many people to question why they would want to work from home. Obviously, there is the convenience factor. But there are some other reasons people choose to work at home even if they are potentially risking getting overlooked for a promotion or raise. 

According to Human Resources Director, remote workers feel as though they are more productive, less stressed, and connected to the company. They found:

  • 78% of remote workers said they have been very productive in the past 12 months. Only 76% of in-office and 75% of hybrid workers said the same.
  • 85% of remote and hybrid workers felt connected to the company. Only 81% of fully in-office felt the same. 
  • In-office workers are a lot more stressed. 52% of in-office workers have expressed an intention to look for new job opportunities this year. Only 36% of remote workers and 43% of hybrid workers felt the same. 

Then there is the financial tradeoff of working from home. They pay less for gas, lunch, and other costs associated with going into the office. 

“Employees have reported that they view working from home for two days a week as a perk equivalent to a 6% raise,” says Orianna Rosa Royle on Yahoo! Finance

Why Are In-Person Workers More Likely To Receive Raises And Promotions?

There are a lot of reasons why people who work in the office are more likely to get raise or promotion:

  • Relationship building: Its just easier to build relationships with people in-person. You not only have conversations about work, but you also have the chance to chit-chat with your boss over coffee and have those quick chats that build a deeper relationship. 
  • Effort perception: There is a prevailing perception that in office workers work harder and are a more entrenched part of the team compated to those who work remotely.  
  • Visibility: Managers have the opportunity to see people work. The see you in meetings, collaboration with others, and can work with you side by side on projects. 

These are just a few of the reasons why in-person workers could be in line ahead of you on the corporate track. 

How Can Remote Workers Improve Their Chances of Getting Promoted?

If you feel like you have been overlooked for a raise or promotion by your boss, I suggest you try some of the following tips to get on their radar:

  • Ask to take on more responsibility.
  • Make it clear to your manager that you want to level up.
  • Communicate more and be an active participant in the conversation.
  • Take an occasional trip to the office (if possible).
  • Continue to add new skills and knowledge.
  • Always be looking for new ways to add value and make things easier for others around you.
  • Keep track of your achievements and progress – use this as a start for a conversation about a compensation or job title bump.

A Find Word On Getting Promoted As A Remote Worker

Being a remote worker doesn’t mean you’ll never get a raise or promotion. But, it does mean you might have to work a little harder than your in-office colleagues. If you feel overlooked, seek out ways to increase your visibility, presence, and impact in your job so your managers will take notice. 


Like What Our Legal Recruiters Had To Say? Check Out More Blogs From Our Recruitment Team in Toronto

The Battle Over Remote Vs. In-Office Work: Who’s Winning in 2024?

Are You Underpaid? Here are 5 Signs It’s Time to Ask for a Raise

The 10 Best Companies for Raises, Promotions & Culture

Steven Petroff Legal Recruiter

Steven Petroff

As a member of both our Accounting and Legal practices, Steven specializes in the recruitment of lawyers, law clerks, accountants, and investment advisors across a number of industries. Steven supports a large network of candidates as a LinkedIn Profile Expert and Career Coach.

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