We’ve been at this Working From Home environment for over a year now. Remember how easy it was to interact with your manager and peers when they were nearby? You could have spontaneous conversations over a cup of coffee or in the hall. You were noticed.
Now you’re working from home and those serendipitous meetings don’t happen. Now you need to take conscious action to be visible. This might seem strange and unnecessary, but it isn’t! When I was working for a high-tech company years ago, I was one of the first employees to be working remotely. I realized early into this experiment that I had to take responsibility for staying visible. I arranged for Monday morning check ins and communicated with my peers often. There were times when I thought perhaps I was too communicative, but my strategy turned out to be on target. My team, peers and manager never considered me to be “remote.”
Think about your situation
Are you sure that your work is recognized and considered to be part of your team’s work, and that you are contributing productively to the team’s outcomes? In meetings, are you part of the conversation? How can you know the answers to these questions? Observe your own behavior and ask your manager for feedback.
There are many articles and books being written about the effects of the WFH caused by the pandemic. Businesses that thought they would not need to consider the WFH option are now realizing the benefits and will likely not bring their workforce back in full force. More and more, some hybrid will be in effect as doors open to let people decide on what form their work will take as we move forward.
One of the effects of WFH is isolation and disappearance of the employee. Managers are encouraged to be aware of this possibility and engage even more often with their staff. Both managers and employees need to have a visibility strategy that works for both.
When employees feel noticed and visible, they are more engaged and productive. Visibility is important for career advancement and promotions when they are warranted. Some ways to assure your visibility are to speak up in meetings and offer ideas, be willing to help colleagues on projects, and volunteer when opportunities present themselves. Showing that you are engaged and care about your team members goes a long way to ensure inclusion and recognition.
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