Staying Relevant While Out of Sight as a Remote Worker
It’s a brave new world for telework. The number of people working remotely or teleworking has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. In fact, a recent survey found that 71% of workers are teleworking or working from home all or most of the time. You might even be one of the many remote workers logging on every day.
While you may have welcomed the chance to skip the morning commute or work in your pajamas, remote work has its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is staying visible when you are not in the office regularly. Even though you are out of sight, you can stay top of mind.
Communication is Key
Strong communication skills transcend all workplaces. It is guaranteed that your managers expect a high level of communication from their remote or teleworkers. So first things first, turn on your video. It’s essential to be professional and prepared, just like you would if you were at the office. It can also be easy to fall into the trap of audio-only meetings. Resist the temptation to work in your pajamas. Video lets you connect face to face with your team and managers. Having your video on during a meeting will encourage you to participate more during the call.
Don’t Be Afraid To Over-Communicate
Your employer is most likely looking for more than to see you on video once a week. Look at models within your organization to see what your employer expected from past teleworkers to determine what they would like to see from you. Be transparent as possible. This might involve daily check-ins, chat availability, or even putting together a weekly email summary to keep everyone in the loop.
Stay in Touch
Nobody wants more meetings, but when you are working remotely, that is precisely what you may have to do. Schedule cross-department meetings to share what you are working on. Don’t forget about your colleagues. Make sure you stay connected with them in formal and informal ways. Plan one-on-one meetings and use chat platforms to check-in with your colleagues regularly. You don’t have to keep it business all the time either—plan for fun too, with virtual happy hours or game sessions.
Exercise Your Leadership Skills
Be proactive. Offer to sit in on meetings or take the lead. If you can present something at a virtual meeting, do that too. Doing so will let you be seen as a high-value employee and a leader within the company. More and more future managers, executives, and even CEOs will come from the ranks of teleworkers. Even if that is not your career goal, you and other remote workers are doing valuable work every day.
There is no doubt about it. Remote work is here to stay. Even if you are not worried about missing out on career opportunities, you still want to be acknowledged for your work by your managers and colleagues. All it takes is a little diligence and a lot of communication to stay visible and valued.