What Telecommuting Does for Your Career

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Public health experts have urged us all, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, to get comfortable with working from home if we can. Social media is teeming with advice from freelancers on how they get through their day, and plenty of studies exist showing the strong benefits of telecommuting at least a little each month. But it's also likely that you're concerned about how working from home can affect your career, whether or not it's because of a state of emergency.

A new study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute might put some of those fears to rest. If you work in an office job and you're looking to climb the ranks, telecommuting probably isn't going to hold you back. It's not a straightforward yes-or-no answer because no matter what, how you get promoted has a lot to do with how you approach your work, your team, and your place in an organization. There's also individual company culture to reckon with — you might have more to overcome if telecommuting isn't common at your office yet.

But overall, working from home won't keep you from getting promoted. That said, the study did find that it might not correlate with pay bumps on its own. However, "if telecommuters signaled a 'devotion' to the workplace by working additional hours outside of normal working hours, [the] analysis indicated that they benefited in terms of both promotions and salary growth."

All in all, focus on health concerns first. Everybody's in the COVID-19 boat together, and with cooperation, we'll climb out of it together too.