How to win recognition as a remote employee?
Work from home as a remote employee is becoming a popular option for many employees at different level of their work cycle. Work from home has its obvious benefits and like there is no free lunch in this world, it comes with its price tag. One price that most remote employee feel they deal with is the challenge of getting enough recognition from the employer. Visibility is important at work. Remote employees loose the opportunity of swinging by the boss’s cabin with a coffee in her hand, an impromptu chance to present some slides during client visit, or to know the undercurrents of new development in an ongoing project. Such loose ends make it difficult for the remote employee to win recognition and they feel left out from the team.
Don’t fall through cracks being unrecognized and invisible from the company’s resource landscape. Companies do have certain policies to integrate employees working from home but you may need to pitch-in time to time to elevate your presence.
Be available virtually: Remote work model is heavily dependent on the internet and telephone connections and it is absolute must to invest little extra on the internet and telephone set up to avoid any connectivity issue with the employers. Be present on office communicator during core office hours.
Use your voice and writing skills: As a remote employee you have only your voice and writing skills to show your presence. Body language plays a great role in the visibility and likeability of an employee at office and is lacked when remote. Use your voice to show concern, humor, objectivity, and seriousness. Practice voice modulations and effective pauses while talking. Talk in details as often people miss hearing few sentences in the beginning. Take a pause and ask team members for queries and comments.
Network at different levels: Spend time in calling the team members and managers on a regular interval to discuss work or just to say hello. Try scheduling weekly meetings with the immediate team members and track the discussions. Follow up with the discussions in the next call. Talk out loud about your work in hand and other areas where you are helping others. Praise your juniors for their efforts to show your eye to detail even from far.
Mindfulness: Often we drift away from the ongoing discussion over a call and you may observe this in others too. Repeating the points and concluding the discussion in a summary gives a better perspective to the team. Being a remote employee, you can be proactive in this closing the loop and mention that for you it is important because this is your only platform for discussion.
Show interest for new activities: It is challenging to know about upcoming projects as a remote employee. Networking may help a little; need to show the enthusiasm for new kind of work and eagerness to be on the floor for training and pilot phase. Show interest in coaching and training, writing procedural, marketing documents, white papers for your company. So slowly you build collaterals in the company website where your name is visible and so is your presence.
Make people aware about being remote: People who have never worked from home don’t understand the requirements of a remote employee and it comes on you to make them aware. Be vocal about the high telephone bills for on-call trainings planned for multiple hours. Bring up the need to share introduction of newly joined employees through email as that is only way that work for you. Ask questions during meetings to show your presence from far.
Deliverables on time: People don’t see you working at your desk and this can create a little uncertainty in allocating work to you. Be aware of this and deliver on time when it comes to your part of the work. This builds the trust and more work makes way towards you.
Additional responsibilities, new challenges, rewards, promotions are important accolades a work and to get them you need to be in people’s thoughts. It is important to be proactively involved in creating a place holder for yourself in people‘s mind whether in office or out of it.