Ten Actions that Enhance Career Progression for Remote Staff
Out of sight, out of mind. This is a fear of many employees working remotely even though the majority now view the opportunity of telecommuting as a positive workplace option.
Employees value the flexibility of working virtually and the opportunity to be measured on what really matters—the content and quality of their work as opposed to face time in the office.
For those who want to continue to grow their careers, lead project teams, manage people or advance into senior leadership, how you work remotely, especially your interaction with others, can make the difference between career progression or stagnation.
To be considered for promotional opportunities you need to give leaders confidence by demonstrating through your work and actions that your remote status isn’t an issue now and won’t be in the future.
Ten actions to take to be viewed as promotable while working remotely:
- Be visible. Use video when possible, especially with 1:1’s with your manager or key customers and clients. This helps establish a personal connection, allows you to read cues better and will help both you and the other party be fully present.
- Be heard. Share your voice and perspective on important matters. Ask clarifying questions or restate key items agreed on prior to providing your input. This demonstrates that you get what is going on and allows others to notice your contributions.
- Be present. Don’t multitask, as you will miss things, some of which matter. It’s tempting to check on other items on your various devices, but like texting while driving, it can lead to bad outcomes. If you wouldn’t do it during an in-person meeting, don’t do it virtually.
- Prepare as if you were there. If it’s a 1:1 meeting, supply an agenda or key bullet points on items you will cover, including status updates on appropriate goals or topics. This shows you have thought through relevant items for discussion and enables dialogue and revision based on the conversation. Every interaction is an opportunity. If you want to grow your career, prep for the virtual meeting as you would any in-person meeting.
- Volunteer to be on or lead teams or projects. This allows your contributions and leadership to be understood by others and demonstrates your willingness to step forward despite your remote status. If you want to lead in the future, demonstrate strong participation and leadership now.
- Acknowledge others during meetings. Co-workers appreciate this, and it also allows you to build on their ideas with your own, which demonstrates leadership. An example of this might be, “I really like Deborah’s ideas regarding our off-site meeting. I’d like to add to this by getting some voice of customer feedback or external competitive metrics, so we can make sure we are addressing our customer’s needs while addressing our goals.”
- Network remotely. You don’t have the opportunity to bump into colleagues or your boss in the cafeteria or hallway like those in the office do, so proactively reach out to new team members, customers or clients as you would if you were co-located with them. Find out about them and help them when you can with your network or follow-up. This expands your knowledge of people in the organization and allows you to gain a broader network.
- Make the most of scheduled in-person meetings. Think through how to fill your schedule and meet with as many people as possible when you do get together at the office or another location that allows in-person meetings. Show your interest in others and what they value whenever possible.
- Communicate clearly. On video calls, teleconferences, in person or in writing. Clarity of communications lessens issues and allows for better outcomes.
- Manage work and flexibility. Find your flow. You need not be chained to your workspace to be productive. Maximize your productivity when it’s best for you to allow flexibility at another time when you need it. Use your flexibility wisely and deliver on the content and quality of the work.
The more you demonstrate these actions while working remotely, the more likely you’ll be viewed as making successful contributions. This can overcome the mental barriers some leaders might have with remote workers. After all, it’s hard to argue with success.
How can executive coaching help you or your organization succeed with remote work?
Lance Hazzard, CPCC, ACC, is a certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach helping people and organizations successfully achieve what’s next. He is Executive Coach and President at Oppnå® Executive & Achievement Coaching. Find out more about Lance and Oppnå® Coaching at oppnacoaching.com