BambooHR: Remote Workers Lost Nearly $10,000 from Delayed Promotions Last Year

BambooHR, a cloud-hosted software provider dedicated to powering the strategic evolution of human resources, released a new study revealing the average remote worker estimates they lost more than $9,800 in promotions that were delayed or denied during the last year.

As corporations across the country claim hybrid work is here to stay, the study of more than 1,000 remote workers looks at how the shift in workplace realities is impacting pay, gender, racial and age divides, and how it left more than half of workers (53 percent) feeling burnt out on a weekly basis.

Now organizations must face the fact that nearly one-third of remote workers plan to switch careers or look for a new job in the next six months.

A sample of key findings from the study include the following:

The COVID-19 pandemic halted travel and social interactions; for many employees, it halted career and financial progress as well:

  • 78% of remote workers think their career development has been affected negatively over the past year, with the top factors being burnout (25%) and having to balance home and/or family life (25%).
  • 36% of remote workers feel as though their career progress has stalled or gone backward with 21% experiencing a promotion freeze and 30% expecting promotions but say they were delayed or denied during the last year.

Employees did the following to get promoted:

  • 56% worked extra hours
  • 50% volunteered for extra projects and responsibilities
  • 40% took on the responsibilities of someone who was laid off/had hours cut
  • 38% worked on days off
  • 29% worked so hard they got burned out

Remote workers have had a difficult time finding work-life balance and are feeling exhausted which may result in high turnover once normalcy resumes:

  • In the past year, 11% say they’ve taken a day off specifically to get caught up on work. 15% of remote workers didn’t take any days off in the last year and almost half (46%) only took a week or less off.
  • Over half (55%) of remote workers always keep their phone on them, with work notifications on, to stay visible while everyone is working remotely. Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) bring their phone to the bathroom so they can reply to customers, clients or colleagues.
  • 44% of remote workers have taken a day off for personal mental wellness in the last year, 37% have to help them reduce burnout.
  • 40% of remote workers who plan on switching career paths or looking for a new job in the next six months say it’s because they’ve felt stuck in their current job, 36% say it’s because of burnout.

The COVID-19 pandemic had varying effects on many different groups, but there are clear differences in the experience had by those of different races and generational groups.

  • 38% Black remote workers and 37% Asian who felt burned out in the last year say it’s due to juggling extra responsibility outside their job description, compared to 33% Hispanic/Latino and 22% White.
  • 76% of Black remote workers feel like they’ve made career progress in the last year, compared to 65% Hispanic/Latino, 60% Asian, and 59% White.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Gen Z feel that they have someone senior to them at work who is a strong advocate for their career progression, compared to 59% of millennials, 49% of Gen X, and 34% of Boomers.
  • 61% of Gen Z and 61% of millennials say that in the last year, they’ve had to put in more effort to prove their worth at their company, compared to 44% of Gen X and 43% of Boomers.

“One of the most important conversations of this year is if and when companies will transition back to in-person or hybrid workplaces, but our data is a stark reminder that we need to be discussing more than just the logistics of this return,” said Cassie Whitlock, head of HR at BambooHR. “With 85 percent of remote workers saying they have new expectations of employers, how people are experiencing the impacts of remote work, pay discrepancies, and more, must be taken into consideration for companies to retain the talent they have carefully recruited up until this point.”

To access the full report, visit:

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich