Many employees have been working remotely for nearly three years amid the COVID-19 pandemic. By now, they’ve become savvy pros at using virtual tools to communicate with their fellow team members, taking meetings through video conferencing platforms and even helping train newly onboarded employees.
However, one of the biggest challenges about working remote is making a good impression on your boss. While traditional office settings allow for more facetime opportunities, there’s much less visibility available for those who work from home. Therefore, impressing your boss while working remotely often requires going the extra mile. Here are some ways remote employees can impress their bosses and make a visible impact.
Check In Each Week With One Another
If you don’t already have a regular weekly check-in scheduled with your boss, now is the time to request it.
Schedule the meeting for a time slot that works best for both calendars. Keep the meeting at around 30 minutes with some wiggle room for an hour if you need to discuss more items. Come prepared with bullet points or an agenda to keep everyone on track during the meeting. Use this time to keep your boss up to date about your progress in any project you’re working on, ask questions about assignments and share some of your accomplishments from the week.
While this check-in can help keep everyone on the same page, it’s a good space to chat about some of the major wins you’re proud of as well as reflecting on feedback about areas where you would like to improve.
Practice Good Virtual Etiquette
Practicing good virtual etiquette for remote workers means doing the following to benefit their professional image:
- Attending video conferencing meetings on time and with their camera and microphone on. (Mute yourself or turn your camera off when and if prompted by the host.)
- Dressing in work appropriate attire from head to toe.
- Ensuring the background behind you is not causing a distraction.
- Arriving to work and meetings that you are invited to on time.
- Responding to emails and messages in a timely manner, particularly emails flagged with urgency.
- Taking notes during meetings.
- Asking questions or jotting down questions to ask once the meeting is over.
- Contributing relevant thoughts and ideas.
Collaborate With Your Colleagues
One of the most challenging aspects of remote work is the lack of a water cooler. In traditional office settings, this is where work colleagues would pass one another and stop to chat. Remote workers need to get creative in finding ways to collaborate with their colleagues.
Here are a few tips that can help break the ice and allow colleagues to get comfortable with one another:
- Email or message articles or videos you think your team members would be interested in reading. Remember to open with a warm and friendly greeting.
- Set up channels in instant messaging software designated for getting extra insight or help from your coworkers.
- If a manager emails your team asking for help with a last-minute assignment and you know you have the extra bandwidth to do it, respond promptly and offer to assist. You don’t always need to be the first to offer to help out, but if you know you have the time and your team members are busy or out of office, they’ll be grateful you took initiative and stepped up.
- Compliment your colleagues. Did they do an excellent job on a product launch or the rollout of a newsletter? Email or message them to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work.
- Celebrate your colleagues. Take the time to sign a birthday card or respond to an email thread about the anniversary of a team member.
While this roundup of tips might sound like it’s about impressing your colleagues, your boss will take notice of these interactions too. They’ll be excited to see you mingling with the team and spreading positive, can-do energy with one another.
Set a Good Example Outside of Work
What are you like when you’re not at work? You might be actively contributing content as a thought leader on LinkedIn, pursuing a hobby you love like playing music or camping, working a side hustle you love like teaching dance, or spending time with family and friends.
Great bosses know remote workers have personal lives outside of work. Set a good example in your “off” time. Use this time to rest, recharge and explore activities and interests you’re passionate about. This ensures you get in enough self-care time and keeps your work-life balance in check so you return to work each week ready to go.
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