Getting used to working from home? Don’t get too comfortable. If your employer is taking this time to let their lease run out and allow workers to work remotely from now on, your job and the need for someone in your position to be local may change over time. Outsourcing or hiring someone in a more affordable part of the country could suddenly be on the table.
Now is the time to remind your employer how indispensable you are. We’ve complied a few of our favorite tips from across the web to help you build your case.
Showcase your soft skills
Time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders offers advice in HBR about how to make your soft skills shine while working remotely. Help out your boss with little tasks to alleviate their stress, learn to get along with co-workers, and spread positivity.
“While doing good work and being a positive presence doesn’t guarantee your position will make the cut…it does increase your odds because you’re demonstrating your value to the organization and the people around you,” Saunders says.
Prove you’re productive
Some organizations already use sophisticated productivity and performance benchmark tools within BambooHR, ZenDesk, Basecamp and other software, which can track specific KPIs and performance metrics for remote workers. But if you’re moving from “my boss knows I work hard because I’m the first in the office in the morning and the last to leave” to remote work, you have a bigger mountain to climb when it comes to proving productivity.
The Ladders give a few tips that can ease you into “showing your work” in more traditional ways, like sending a weekly progress email or using a Google Doc rubric to show where you are on projects that can be accessed by your manager at any time.
Fast Company recently highlighted this feature from Zapier, which talks about the organization’s core value to “default to transparency” and how that helps its teams build stronger bonds.
“With everyone working physically alone, it’s a lot easier to accidentally withhold information or not provide enough context for your teammates,” points out Wade Foster, co-founder and CEO at Zapier. “By going out of your way to provide relevant information, it means there are rarely surprises. And if you want to build trust, you can’t have surprises.”
You may not have control over the transparency you’re afforded at your own organization, but there are additional ways to build trust and strong bonds. This article from The Muse offers a few, including the importance of being reliable and responsive as well as being fully present when in virtual meetings.
“While it’s tempting to multitask…you’re better off focusing only on the meeting at hand. If you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to ask questions, contribute ideas, and pick up on important bits of information—all things that help show you’re an engaged member of the team,” writes WorkingRemote.ly’s Liz Presson.
If you’re thriving in your newly remote job, do what you can to show you’re a better-than-ever fit for the position. It may not be what you signed up for, but your soft skills, abilities, and attributes are what got you the position and they’re what can help you keep it for the long run.
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