Feeling overlooked? Here are a few tricks for showing up, virtually
You’re efficient and you’re good at what you do – but sometimes it can feel that management isn’t noticing what you offer. Proving your value can be difficult when working remotely, but there are a few ways to get and stay noticed at work when you’re not in the office.
You’d be surprised how often people think they’re meeting expectations when they really aren’t. At the very basic level, be attentive to your phone, email and instant message throughout the day and respond in a realistic time frame. This shows that you’re a reliable and responsive member of the team, in or outside of your office building.
Are there areas where you’d admit you’re not giving 100%? Challenge yourself to put more effort and energy into those areas. Some parts of your job may come more naturally to you than others. Inevitably there are aspects of your job that may not align to your core strengths. Being remote may give you more time during the day, which provides the opportunity to upskill and strengthen your capabilities. Regardless of whether a promotion is on the horizon, put more thought into the areas that don’t come as natural to you, and work at them. Give your manager occasional updates on how your endeavours are going.
It can be too easy to get caught up in work drama, bring personal drama into work or get sucked into others’ negativity. You don’t want to get noticed for the wrong reasons. Instead, look for opportunities to support your team members and praise their efforts in meetings. Get noticed for going the extra mile, putting in 110% effort, or offering new ideas and thoughtful advice.
Meeting deadlines, being on time for online meetings and managing your timelines ups your value and builds trust. If you’re in doubt about whether you’ll meet a deadline, just be transparent and open with your manager. Being upfront about your unexpected delay works wonders in your favour. In a similar vein, maintain your flexibility and be adaptable if there are adjustments, changes or an unexpected workflow hiccup –which will inevitably happen while everyone is remote. Being adaptable in an ever-evolving workplace is a desired quality in a valued employee.
Focusing only on the meeting at hand might be the easiest way to impress your boss and colleagues. Try not to multitask - i.e., look at your phone, answer emails, respond to messages, talk to a friend or spouse in the same room, etc. At the very least, you’ll be able to ask questions and catch important bits of information that may slip by if you’re multitasking.
Bonus tip: Arrive to meetings a few minutes early, if you can. This gives you a chance to take part in the normal pre-meeting banter that usually happens during in-person meetings, providing an opportunity to build and maintain relationships with colleagues and get the scoop on what others are working on.
Be your number one cheerleader. Let your manager know (in a subtle way) about your efforts and good results. If you won’t, who will? It’s ok to be proud and confident about your achievements but be careful not to cross the line into boasting. A quick mention or one-liner about your success here and there while speaking with your manager will get the job done.
Where possible, and if you have a local office, plan to visit on a semi-regular basis. Nothing quite beats face-to-face interaction for teamwork and relationship building. Physically showing face can go a long way to help getting you noticed. Nurturing relationships with your team and colleagues (in person) can also make it easier to transition to remote working and increase that level of connection you have with your colleagues and in turn the visibility of the work you are doing with your manager.