It seems like remote work might be here to stay in 2020 and beyond. While some employers are inviting team members back to the office, others are keeping people in their home offices for some time yet. Your own employer may offer a hybrid program where coming in to the office is elective, or you can split time between the two locations.
The possibility of additional shutdowns, employees needing to quarantine, and so on are some reasons for remote work sticking around. There’s also the fact many people were pushing for more flexible work arrangements and remote options before the pandemic.
All that said, working remotely does have some drawbacks. One of those is actually making an impression on your manager and senior leaders.
How can you demonstrate that you’re still a star employee, even if you’re not in the office? These tips can help you avoid the “out of sight, out of mind” issue when it comes to proving your value.
If your company uses something like a human resources information system, then you have a great way of proving your value as a team member. The HRIS can help you keep track of your productivity.
Some tools will allow you to keep track of your scheduled shifts or the hours you’ve worked. The HRIS can also be used to monitor time on particular tasks or projects.
Ask your HR team leaders about time tracking and productivity tracking for remote workers like yourself. Then make use of these tools to demonstrate your effectiveness and productivity.
Communicate on a Regular Basis
“Keep in touch” isn’t just a nice way to sign off an email. For remote workers, it’s a way of life. Be sure to stay in touch with team members, managers, and even senior leaders by communicating often.
You should make sure your communications are helpful in some way, though. It’s okay to drop a friendly email or outreach message every once in a while, and you should definitely ask for assistance whenever an issue crops up.
There are other ways to stay in frequent contact without clogging up people’s inboxes. Communicate your weekly schedule, letting people know about changes or asking them to take note of your availability. This is especially beneficial if you’re going to be working a non-standard shift. It can also help your team members stay apprised of when you’ll be available for face-to-face meetings, questions, or even completing certain tasks.
You could also provide weekly summaries or updates, which can help the team stay on track with projects they’re working on.
Be Virtually Present
If there are meetings or social events your team or department is holding, make an effort to be present. You may not be able to make in-person events very often, but schedule time for virtual events as much as possible.
Don’t be afraid to act as a resource yourself, inviting team members to reach out if they have questions or an issue crops up.
Another way to impress the decision-makers at the other end of your connection is to take the initiative. Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you can’t help coordinate projects, troubleshoot a particularly sticky issue, or even undertake your own learning and professional development.
Be sure the initiatives you take are welcome before you start on them. For example, don’t enrol in expensive online courses without prior approval if you’re hoping the company will reimburse you. You may be disappointed to find the skills you want to learn aren’t considered important or don’t mesh with your manager’s idea of professional development.
Show that you are willing to take the first steps to professional development or taking the lead on a project or solving an issue.
Any and all of these tips can help you demonstrate that you’re a fantastic employee who’s ready for more opportunities, even if you’re working remotely.