Remote work presents unique challenges that many haven’t experienced before. Some may fear not being seen or feeling isolated during this time while others may overwork themselves to prove that they’re an asset to an organization.
While the technology has been around for years that allow us to transition to work from home, it has been severely underutilized. Video conferencing tools, instant messaging and internal communication platforms have made it easy for organizations to function effectively and productively but enhanced work visibility is not one of them. “Out of sight, out of mind” becomes reality even if you’re working diligently and delivering tasks on time but not being in the same environment as your team can minimize efforts.
How to Gain Visibility at Work in a Remote Environment
Schedule video calls with teammates and colleagues from other departments
When remote, it’s hard to get to know colleagues that you don’t directly work with and even then, conversations are focused on work. Set up video calls or virtual lunches/happy hours to connect with your coworkers and use that time to talk about anything but work. Connecting with coworkers via video allows for an organic connection during this time of remote work and also helps reduce social isolation that many people are feeling.
Publish, share, and discuss insights from your role
Many organizations have set up internal communication platforms for critical communication and updates from leadership and management but that can also be utilized by employees to share insights on projects or achievements. Sharing what you’re working on and what you’ve learned allows your colleagues to learn more about you, your skills and can provide value to what others may be working on. This allows you to build out your professional, internal network and demonstrate your subject expertise.
Make an effort to communicate with others with IM
A lot of conversations that happen at work aren’t actually about work but banter between coworkers in the break room, at lunch or even in passing. Many of these light-hearted conversations are missing as we’ve transitioned to remote work. Don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues that you would run into while getting a cup of coffee to catch up via the Instant Messaging services your company has. Remember, not everything has to be about work and a simple ‘Hi – how’s it going’ can be a great reminder that you’re there.
Check-in regularly with your team
It’s easy to get lost in your day-to-day work and get stuck in a routine with extended periods of screen time and spams of email. Schedule time on a weekly basis to check-in with your team with status updates, communicate wins and failures and where you need help. Working remotely can make it hard to ask for help but it’s important so that you’re effectively working with your team.
Start a company-wide program or initiative
Create or participate in programs that require cross-departmental collaboration. Working on organizational projects allows your voice to be heard and gives you interaction with colleagues you may not interact with on a day-to-day basis. By strengthening your company network, your visibility within the organization increases and it helps improve workplace communication.
Participate during team calls
Leverage large team calls as a way for people to get to know you and gain visibility at work. It’s important for people to realize your value and worth in meetings so ask questions or offer input when appropriate. By building that initial connection, it makes it easier for people to reach out to you when needed.
Navigating Remote Work During a Pandemic
During this prolonged remote work experience, it’s important to communicate, communicate, communicate with your team. By making a few changes to stand out, you’ll be seen as a valuable asset to the organization and help you maintain your connection to your colleagues.