More than half of U.S. workers (52 percent) believe that in-office employees will experience better career advancement than remote staff, according to an April 2021 survey by CNBC and SurveyMonkey.

The results demonstrate that many workers fear they will limit their careers if they choose to telecommute. Only 15 percent of survey respondents say that remote workers will have better career opportunities, while 31 percent expect that the two groups will have equal career opportunities.

These fears hold true even in industries where a large proportion of the workforce is working remotely. In the field of finance, 46 percent are working from home, yet believe by a 4-to-1 margin that in-office employees will have better career opportunities than their remote colleagues a year from now.

An exception is the technology industry. About half of tech workers (47 percent) feel that remote and in-person staff have equal opportunity for career growth, while 32 percent believe in-person employees have an advantage and 20 percent believe remote employees will have better career growth.

Prior CNBC/SurveyMonkey surveys have shown that younger workers especially cite career growth as the leading factor for job satisfaction. In 2019, 23 percent of workers aged 18 to 34 said “having opportunities to advance” was the most important factor in overall job satisfaction, compared with 14 percent of 35-to-54-year-olds and 6 percent of workers over 55.

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