Working From Home Might Put You At A Disadvantage For Raises, Promotions

Working From Home Might Put You At A Disadvantage For Raises, Promotions

Working from home can be great, but the MIT Sloan Management Review notes that it also puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to raises, promotions and more. Here’s why.

Image: Adam Harvey.

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of telecommuting, but it turns out, you might be at risk for lower performance evaluations, smaller raises and fewer promotions, due to what the Sloan Review calls “passive face time”:

The difference is what we call passive face time. By that we are not referring to active interactions with coworkers or clients, but merely to being seen in the workplace. To be credited with passive face time you need only be observed at work; no information is required about what you are doing or how well you are doing it.

Even when in-office and remote employees are equally productive, our research suggests their supervisors might evaluate them differently because of differences in their passive face time. Especially in white-collar settings, the presence or absence of passive face time may influence evaluations used to determine the fitness of employees for specific tasks such as team leadership.

In a lot of cases, this is even subconscious — your boss isn’t out to get you, they just tend to trust the people who’s face they see at their desks every day. Does this mean you should avoid telecommuting altogether? No, but it means you might want to head to the office a little more often, if possible — especially if you’re looking to get a leg up on the in-office competition. Hit the link to read more about the research.

Why Showing Your Face at Work Matters [MIT Sloan Management Review via Hacker News]


  • This was definitely the case for me. I had an excellent contract job working from home for a large publicly listed company. Plenty of work, good rates, flexibility, always paid on time. Problem was that the person who sent me the work didn’t earn as much, had to turn up for work everyday at the office and knew just how good I had it. She was jealous and wanted my job. In the end she got it as I wasn’t on the scene to know what was going on. Lesson learned.

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