The corona pandemic has caused the whole world to work remotely from one day to the next. That seems to have changed our perception of working from home. But some experts fear that as more and more people are vaccinated, we will revert to old patterns and those who continue to work remotely despite the contributions they make will be overlooked by executives.
“The pandemic forces managers to judge their teams purely on the work they deliver and not on other side issues,” said Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, head of talent at the employment agency Manpower. “But I’m concerned that once everyone returns to the office, these executives will be guided more, in assessing the employee, by how someone behaves in the workplace than the actual results being delivered.”
While employers have a responsibility to ensure a level playing field, according to HR managers there are things you can do as a remote worker to put yourself in the spotlight of the boss, let the results of your work speak for themselves and that next promotion. Build strong relationships within the company
Strong relationships are the foundation of any successful career. As a work-at-home worker, you have to work extra hard to build — and maintain — those relationships. Building rapport with your boss and your team is essential, but don’t stop there. The more people who know you and your work, the better.
Therefore, think carefully about the variation across your network. “Look at the people who are not on your direct team, but who may have an indirect relationship with you and the work you deliver. In the workplace, it would be the colleagues you’re close to that would quickly get you into a conversation,” said Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s head of talent acquisition. “These are the people you have to reach in order to be able to join in on new projects or to come up with ideas.”
Shappley recommends learning about the different departments in the company and the roles within management.” Dare to ask your boss for suggestions on who else you should get to know. Be curious.”
Virtually dealing with power dynamics within the workplace
Volges Shappley, it is a challenge to gain a good understanding of the power dynamics within your organization when you work remotely. “If you were in the office, you would see who is talking to whom. If you work from home, this kind of information is more difficult to obtain.”
“Although it is more difficult to sense the relationships between all team members through Zoom, it is not impossible,” said Kristina Johnson, senior HR manager at software company Okta.See how people talk, how they make decisions and how they try to gain the trust of others.”
Pay attention to the body language, facial expressions, and other signals your co-workers may be giving off. Who does the team listen to best? Whose opinion is most valued? Who is interrupted and who is gossiped about?
“Of course, this partly depends on the role someone has within the team, but functions aren’t everything,” Johnson says. “The goal is to understand who has influence and how that influence is used to get things done.”
Be aware of how you come across
Smart clothes and a neutral background alone are not enough to look good in a video meeting. Be aware that your colleagues judge you the same way you rate them. Think carefully about how you get your message across and with what energy, just like you would in a meeting at the office.
When part of the team will be back in the office and you are working from home, make sure you always have your camera on during meetings so that you are actually physically in the room. Pay attention and don’t get distracted by things happening around you. Lean forward and nod when appropriate. When it’s your turn to speak, look directly into the camera, making it seem like you’re making eye contact with everyone else. “You have to give it a little more gear,” Johnson says. “For example, gesture more with your hands than you normally would to get people involved in your story and not become a talking head on a screen.”
Dare to make yourself visible within the company in a creative way
To increase your visibility as a home worker within your organization, some creativity is needed. Making virtual coffee dates and attending happy hours via Zoom are a good starting point, but they won’t help you stand out from the boss.
Calvin Crosslin, chief diversity officer at computer company Lenovo, recommends reflecting on your unique skills, experience and know-how and connecting with specific colleagues based on that. “Think like an entrepreneur,” he says. “Ask yourself, ‘What can I do to make a meaningful impression on my colleagues?’”
As an example, Crosslin cites an employee of his own company, Lenovo, who started a daily morning show through Lenovo’s group chat software after the outbreak of the pandemic. “He uses his video show to share employee stories and provide updates about the company. Almost every morning the whole office is ready for a new episode. The executives are also enthusiastic and regularly offer themselves as guests for his show,” says Crosslin.Because of this creative initiative, he is known to everyone in our company.”
Make sure you are well organized and put every appointment on paper
“Whether you work from home or in the office, the basic principles of a good employee are the same: work hard, be a good colleague, and show a willingness to learn,” said Meghan Reibstein, vice president of operations at online brokerage firm Zillow. . “But working remotely does require more dedication. You have to be very disciplined.”
According to Reibstein, it’s essential that you use every tool at your disposal to stay organized, be clear with your team about your ideas and plans, and make sure others know how to help you. reach and when you are available. “Finally, you have to make sure that everything is always in black and white to prevent miscommunication,” she says.
If possible, try to be in the office a few days a month. There are advantages to physical presence that are difficult to bridge on Zoom, such as the easy pick-up of information about the organization. Think of new vacancies and special training days that the entire organization is working towards.
Spend your days at the office consciously, advises Jim Hilt, president of Shutterfly, an online photo printing company. “Focus on building relationships and those group bonds that are harder to maintain from a distance.”