Although working remotely is a highly coveted perk, it also has challenges from a career standpoint. For instance, it’s easier to fade into the background, as there are limited face-to-face interactions.
Unfortunately, this translates into career advancement opportunities becoming fewer and harder to come by. To avoid this, you must do more than log onto your computer daily. Here are some tips to combat remote work invisibility to help you stand out.
1. Complete Assigned Tasks on Time
Self-discipline is one of the essential traits for success when working remotely. You won’t have someone hanging over your shoulder, at least not physically, so it’s imperative to stay on task and meet deadlines.
That said, getting noticed for completing your work on time is a great starting point. Managers and company leaders in remote workplaces value employees they can rely on to get their work done independently. Creating a remote work schedule that works for you is a helpful way to stay on track.
This enables you to get noticed for the right reasons, and when the time comes for promotions, raises, or layoffs, you will have done your part in building a positive reputation to set yourself up for success.
2. Seek Opportunities to Help Out
Proactivity is another essential trait for anyone looking to get ahead in their remote career. So, if you have completed your tasks and lack something to do, ask your manager or colleagues if they could use an extra set of hands.
Sitting back for prolonged periods without doing anything will only make you more invisible. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” is especially true in remote workplaces. So, if you want to stay visible and relevant, put yourself out there and offer to help. Being proactive is a surefire way to get noticed and demonstrate your value. To achieve this, you could:
- Check-in with your manager daily to see if there are any tasks you can help with, such as side projects or special initiatives.
- Participate during meetings by offering your insights and solutions to problems.
- Collaborate with other teammates on projects.
- Take initiatives to improve processes or workflows.
- Provide regular updates to your manager on the progress of your assigned tasks.
3. Be Responsive to Communications
In a remote workplace, timely communication is key to maintaining a cohesive work environment, since you can’t just walk over to a colleague’s desk to ask a question. This is especially true when you manage projects/ teams or if your position requires you to communicate with customers.
However, this does not mean you should fall prey to the always-on expectations that have become the norm in today’s workplace culture. As much as you’d like to stand out in your remote workplace, you also need to take care of your well-being, and making yourself available 24/7 is not conducive to a healthy work-life balance.
That said, discuss your expectations with your supervisor and set realistic boundaries regarding your availability. Communicate your working hours with your colleagues and customize your communication tools to reflect your availability.
4. Foster Connections With Colleagues
Nurturing relationships with your remote colleagues is important for several reasons. First, it helps you feel like part of a team, which is essential for job satisfaction. Secondly, it can lead to opportunities for networking, mentorship, and career growth.
There are several ways to stay connected with your colleagues; for instance, you could turn your camera on during meetings whenever possible. Considering physical interactions are almost non-existent in remote workplaces, video calls are the next best thing, as they help you put a face to a name, build rapport, and boost your visibility.
You could also join social events, such as virtual coffee breaks, to get to know your colleagues better. Lastly, participating in virtual water cooler channels/ groups is a great way to engage in informal conversations with your colleagues.
5. Invest in Your Professional Development
Investing in your professional development shows that you are willing to put in the extra effort to improve your skills and grow in your career. Taking the initiative to develop yourself professionally also empowers you to do your job better, contribute to your team, and take on more responsibilities. These are all excellent ways to set yourself up for success.
If you are new to remote work, you can start by learning relevant skills on standard tools used in remote workplaces like Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive. This will help you familiarize yourself with how things are done in your company and make a good impression. In addition, you can expand your skill set by:
- Taking online classes for new remote working skills.
- Reading articles and watching videos on best practices for remote work.
- Attending webinars and conferences related to your industry.
- Asking for feedback from your manager on areas you can improve in.
- Joining mentoring programs or shadowing more experienced colleagues.
Some organizations try to create a sense of community by organizing social and networking events throughout the year. Such events present an excellent opportunity to get to know your colleagues better and expand your professional network. So, if your company offers any, do your best to attend at least once in a while.
The same can be said about company-sponsored events. Although attending these events is not mandatory, it is an excellent way to show your interest in being part of the team. They also offer an excellent opportunity to learn more about your organization, its culture, and its values, which can benefit your career development.
Improve Your Remote Visibility, Stand Out, and Advance Your Career
Sharing the same physical space with your supervisors and colleagues makes your presence and contributions effortlessly noticeable. However, in a remote setting, you need to put in some effort by adapting your strategy to the realities of your new environment in order to stand out and advance your career.
Working remotely need not mean sacrificing growth opportunities. In fact, with the right strategy, you can improve your visibility, make a good impression, and set yourself up for success.
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