Most of the world has now had some experience with their employees working remotely, but that doesn’t mean everyone is an expert or even particularly comfortable with it. If you’re new to working from home, it might feel daunting to try to prove to your manager or your company that you’re not “slacking off” by working from the kitchen table. Even if you know you’re putting in the hours and checking off your to-do list, it can feel like you need to prove your productivity.
Here are some suggestions to help you feel confident and show your worth when working remotely.
One of the best ways to show that you’re “on the job” when you’re at home is to be as reliable, communicative, and timely as possible. That means answering emails, IMs, and pings in a reasonable timeframe to answer questions or give updates is important – and not just with your direct manager. Not every communication requires proof of work – sometimes just saying that you’ve gotten their email, give an ETA on a project, or say that you’re looking into something is enough.
Let the work speak for itself:
Updates and meetings are important, but it’s not necessary to give your busy boss a running tally of your tasks completed just because you’re now remote. Unless you gave daily updates to your boss before you started working from home, it’s probably not necessary now. More visibility and transparency into your progress might be important, but don’t spend more time talking about how much work you’ve done than actually doing the work.
On Zoom meetings and video calls, it’s easy to get distracted – there’s either work on your screen that you’re still paying attention, background noise in the house, or something else that wouldn’t be fighting for your attention in a sit-down meeting in the office. But being present, paying attention, and contributing on your video calls is a key indicator that you’re productive and still invested in your role.
If you’re still not sure how to make sure that you’re communicating value while working remotely, ask your manager or your HR leader for input. If no one has shared a specific expectation, it’s okay to ask for what they need so that everyone is on the same page. Chances are, both you and your leaders are all learning about what the expectation should be together.
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