Standing out as a remote employee
There is no doubt about it: we have evolved into a remote workforce. Before the pandemic in 2020, it seemed almost impossible to get a job working from home, but now that this type of work has been proven successful, more companies are staying with a remote workforce.
This is great for many employees who like to stay at home, but there is another challenge: proving that you can stand out and be productive on your own.
Management needs to be very trusting of its workforce when they have a remote team, and it is only right that you respect the trust that your boss has for you and show your employer that you can be just as useful by yourself as you are when in the office.
To do that, you will want to work on your communication, create professional video calls, and enforce a daily structure to truly stand out and prove your worth. Here are a few tips for doing just that.
Be there with active communication
When working in the office, your boss can simply look into your cubicle to see that you are there and what you are working on. In a remote world, that isn’t possible, and it can be easy for employees to fall into the cracks if they are not making it a point to communicate and remind their managers that they are working hard.
Communication includes asking questions, reporting when tasks are complete, mentioning when you go to and come back from breaks and lunches, and more. It’s basically what you would do if you were in the physical office.
When working on active communication, it is important to first ask the people on your team for their preferred communication method. That could be instant messages, phone calls, or email. It is important to ask so you aren’t annoying someone by repeatedly reaching out to them on a platform they dislike.
By communicating, you are not only reminding everyone that you are there, but when you share tasks you’ve completed or offer your help to others, you also become a more effective team player and improve workplace culture.
Email is a valuable tool when it comes to standing out via active communication. Use it to share positive feedback that you receive from clients or to ask for answers to questions that you know the rest of the team will benefit from learning.
Email is great because there isn’t as much pressure for the recipient to respond right away, and you can take the time to think about what you want to say and edit as necessary. To give the best impression, check your wording for spelling and grammar so your message can be properly received.
Video calls are a priority
Although you are working remotely, it is still essential to have some face-to-face time with your manager and your team because doing so will provide the connection you need and may help you get your talking points across in a clearer manner.
When meetings are scheduled, make it a point to recommend a video conference instead of just a phone call. Management will appreciate the initiative.
It is a smart idea to complete a test of your equipment first to ensure that your camera and microphone work. The last thing you want to do is create a bad impression by being late because of a malfunction.
Preparation for video conference calls is essential. Make sure to dress professionally, at least from the waist up. If you are less professional from the waist down, just be sure not to stand up during the meeting.
Choose a space for your video that has a neutral background and avoid distracting artwork or posters. Find a space with great natural lighting so you can be clearly seen and avoid concealing part of your face in shadows.
In addition to having a professional video atmosphere, you can stand out from others on your team by avoiding distractions during the call. If you are in charge of the meeting, schedule a time when the kids will be out of the house and the pets will be in their respective rooms.
You also need to avoid being a distraction yourself. Remember that you are on video, and even if you are not speaking, your managers could be watching you. So keep an attentive posture and avoid looking off screen too often or making facial expressions that show you aren’t that interested in what is being presented. By staying engaged during the entirety of the meeting, you will be a good example to others and you will truly stand out.
In addition to regular communication and professional Zoom meetings, you will also need to stand out with the daily work you do. Set up a schedule each day of all required tasks and when you hope to complete them. Doing so will prove that you can keep busy and be counted on to complete your tasks without micromanagement.
Start the day by clocking in on time. Without having a commute and with your office down the hall, there isn’t much reason to be late, plus it will show that you’re an adult that takes your job seriously.
Create a daily routine that you follow each day and complete your tasks in an orderly fashion. When you are done, you can make a great impression by asking management or your team if they need any help completing their assignments. Also, be the first to take on new projects when they are offered and show your enthusiasm for making them a success.
Many managers fear that remote employees get easily distracted with things at home and need constant babysitting and reminders to complete their work. You can stand out and buck this trend by being an efficient problem solver. Instead of constantly asking for help or saying that you can’t do something, take a page out of software development’s book and look to iterative innovation as a means to problem solving. This methodology involves developing and testing multiple solutions to one problem to find the best solution or solutions. The ability to think outside the box and come up with answers will not only help you stand out in your current role but could show your potential for job promotions in the future.
Remote work is proving to be very advantageous to employers and employees alike, but it can be easy to get lost in the woodwork. By trying the tactics above, you can stand out and continue to succeed, even if you aren’t going to the office.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can follow her work at charliefletcher.contently.com