Remote Employees: Consider These 6 Things to Make Sure You’re Not Left Behind
Some of us may work remotely two or three days a week, working in-house on the others. Although many people have come to enjoy the autonomy, traffic-free, and hyper-productivity that often accompanies remote work, there are some potential worries:
Remote workers run the risk of being overlooked
This is particularly so if you work from home full-time.
But hybrid remote workers could also experience career advancement risks.
No matter how productive and brilliant they may be, home workers find that a lack of in-person time with managers and colleagues can negatively impact promotions and possibly stall careers.
- The Stanford School of Business in 2015 studied workers in China and found that while remote workers were more productive – by 13 percent – they weren’t rewarded with promotions at nearly the same rate as people who worked in the office.
- A 2018-2019 paper co-authored by a remote-work expert when she worked at the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that workers observed while at work resulted in “more positive outcomes” for them than for their remote-working colleagues. The reason? “[b]ecause it is a strong signal of their commitment to their job, their team, and their organization.”
- This bias towards in-house workers even comes into play when the in-person employees aren’t doing all that well: “You may have a bad day at work, but you’re at work,” the same author explained. “Your boss sees you and thinks, ‘I see her struggling, but she’s here, and she’s working hard.’”
6 tips to get the recognition you’ve earned
- Have a visibility strategy. This may be making sure you speak with your manager at least once a day, every day. It may mean sending your boss a weekly update regarding projects completed, in process, coming up, etc. It could also mean knowing your boss’s goals and making sure at least some of your work directly helps your boss meet their goals.
Don’t dismiss this idea: 38 percent of your remote-work compatriots have said they’ve “gone out of their way to be noticed while working at home.”
- Offer new ideas. New ideas help get you noticed. Keep the ideas coming, and you’ll continually be noticed. Don’t worry about having perfect ideas (although they shouldn’t be cockamamie). The very fact that you’re coming up with them shows your dedication to your department and your work.
- Help your in-person colleagues. If you see someone struggling, ask if you can help with a task. If you have time and someone appears to be behind, offer to work with them. Having an on-site team member mention to your manager that “Jean offered to help me contact beta testers for their feedback” can go a long way toward keeping you top-of-mind in an excellent way with coworkers and your supervisor.
- Consider scheduling one-on-one video meetings with each of your colleagues weekly or every two weeks. As mentioned above, you’ll stay top-of-mind with colleagues, and they’ll mention you to other coworkers, as well as your boss.
- Take this a step further and ask for a private video meeting with your boss every day you’re not in the office. This may – or may not – be difficult for your boss to do, depending on how many direct reports they have, as your boss may think it’s such a great idea, they may want to hold these private meetings with each of their team members. Regardless: there’s no harm in asking.
- Keep honing your skills. Take online classes either for certificates or just for the knowledge. Make sure to share what you learn with your colleagues and managers: offer to hold a virtual/remote seminar showcasing your new knowledge or tips/workarounds for others to use.
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