How to get noticed by working remotely when almost everyone has returned to the office
When everyone was working remotely, the playing field was level. Now that companies are starting to bring people back to the office, there are going to be big changes. The current trend seems to require you to work a hybrid schedule. This involves two or three days in the office and the rest at home. Some people may choose to work every day, and a lot of people should be pushing to work remotely full time.
A recent study showing the results of working from home over the period 2011-2020 offers insights, including the unpleasant fact that remote workers faced a number of challenges that their co-workers didn’t. did not have to face.
Here are some of the takeaways:
- People who worked primarily from home were half as likely to be promoted.
- About 38% of remote workers did not receive a bonus.
- Teleworkers worked an average of six hours of unpaid overtime per week in 2020, and homeworkers worked until late into the evening.
- The absenteeism rate at home was 0.9% on average in 2020.
With these statistics in mind, you need to be thoughtful and strategic in your approach to the job. You can’t just log on to the computer and assume your boss and coworkers know what you’re doing. A well thought out game plan is necessary to be successful.
The good news is, most of us have over a year of remote working experience. We have become experts in computer repair, Internet connectivity troubleshooter and almost expert in light, sound and video, in addition to doing your real job.
Whether you are part time or full time at home, you need to make sure that you are noticed and recognized for your efforts and contributions. Keep in mind that this is going to be more difficult for managers to move forward.
During the pandemic, most white-collar workers worked remotely. In the future, supervisors will need to manage people with a range of different schedules. Keep an eye on who is in the office on any given day and where everyone is, as there will likely be those who decide to work from their beach house during the summer or choose to be a digital nomad.
Instead of seeing staff members in the hallway and taking them to an office for an impromptu meeting, your boss will need to figure out where the others are and make sure they’re included. You can imagine that after a while he will start squealing on the supervisor. He or she may be a little bored or irritated by herding cats all the time.
You can easily imagine a two-class system among the workers. There will be those in the room who will be first class and those at home will be second class corporate citizens. Bosses are likely to make false assumptions about their work ethic and commitment to the company.
If a remote worker arrives late or misses a virtual meeting, it can be assumed that the person is slacking off. Some managers will wonder why some employees are only in the office Tuesday through Thursday and work remotely on Mondays and Fridays. They will feel like they are playing with the system by taking very long weekends, even if that is not the employee’s intention.
With fewer people in the office, they’ll build a strong bond. Those who are at home will feel excluded from this clique. Managers are likely to focus on the people in the office because it is easier. Those who are out of sight will be. They won’t have those chance conversations that will lead to a big break. You might not be called upon to work on a cool new project because it has been assigned to someone who is in the office and within sight.
Here’s what you can do to get noticed:
Talk to your manager to set goals and expectations. Make sure they are fully aware of your schedule and workload. Have a plan in place to check in on certain days and times. Decide if it will be by phone, video calls, emails, texts, or in-person meetings once every two weeks.
Focus on building and maintaining relationships with the people you work with. While it can be irritating, participate in all Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams videos to stay in front of your coworkers and management. When you are on the video call, look a little more professional and polished to stand out. Let’s face it, most of the time you have the camera off and wait for the call to end and you’re out of your misery. Try to participate.
Don’t be that person who monopolizes the conversation and weighs in on all of their silly opinions. You should be looking for openings to share relevant, intelligent, and insightful comments. Go further and praise others for their ideas. Offer your support to their familiar projects. If you feel a connection with someone, send them a note to grab a virtual cup of coffee to strengthen the relationship.
Find a way to share your accomplishments with your boss without sounding like bragging or bragging. You want them to know what you are doing every day. List your accomplishments and successes. Check in with your manager from time to time to see if you could help.
Get involved in all online office activities. Participate in Slack and other similar tools that connect and collaborate. Schedule make-up calls with your co-workers, including those who may not be on your immediate team, but who are important to your career development. If you’re remote full-time, consider heading to the office every now and then so people can see your face.