Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers
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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

What is a sustainable career and how can individuals and organizations develop pathways that lead to them? With current levels of global unemployment and the need for life-long learning and employability enhancement these questions assume a pressing significance. With twenty-eight chapters from leading scholars, the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers makes an important contribution to our understanding of sustainable careers and lays the foundation for the direction of future research.
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Chapter 8: Managing visibility for career sustainability: a study of remote workers

Julia Richardson and Clare Kelliher


Changing patterns of work challenge the notion of employees having a designated workplace predicated on physical presence. These changes have been enabled by developments in technology, where an increasing number of employees can work from remote locations, relying on communication technologies to facilitate their interaction with colleagues, managers and customers. This chapter explores the implications of these developments for career sustainability. Drawing on a large study of remote workers in Canada, we demonstrate how, in addition to meeting formal performance targets, there was a perceived need to maintain and enhance visibility in order to ensure career progression and continued employment. Since remote working may impede visibility, the chapter explores how participants managed relationships with colleagues and clients in order to maintain and/or enhance their visibility and related career opportunities. It also reports how they tacitly accepted, rather than challenged, the impact of visibility on their careers and in so doing demonstrates the continuing importance of face-to-face interaction and physical presence for maintaining professional networks. The implications of these findings are discussed, including the need for organizations to review existing HR policies, particularly those relating to careers, when different forms of working are utilized.

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