More and more companies are offering the option to work fully or partially from home. Working remote provides some important advantages, but it can be challenging when it comes to advancing your career. How can you make sure you stand out from the rest of the pack when you work from home all or some of the time? The following tips can help you make the right impression on your employer as a remote employee.
- Be More Than a Name
When you work from home, it’s important to make sure you’re not just a name on the payroll sheet. While it might not be as easy to do, you should build relationships with your coworkers and staff. If you work for a small company, this might be simple. You might be able to introduce yourself by sending an introductory email to your fellow employees, or you might get an opportunity to introduce yourself during a virtual meeting.
When you’re a remote employee for a large company, getting to know others, and others to know you, can become more difficult. Keep in mind that you don’t have to make sure everyone in the company knows you. However, you should take steps to ensure that the staff you’ll be working with the most know who you are. Making yourself more than just a name can help you feel more like part of the company and even lead to opportunities as you work on advancing your career.
- Double Check Your Technology
While it may seem obvious, making sure your technology works is an easy way to stand out as a remote worker. Problems beyond your control can happen, such as internet outages or program glitches. However, you should do what you can to ensure that you’re able to continue working smoothly throughout the day. This might involve investing in a more reliable internet connection at home or getting into the habit of checking your audio and camera settings at the start of each day.
Taking steps to make sure all the technology you use from home is working properly can make things easier for your employees and co-workers, since it minimizes the risk of disruption. Making the effort to double check your technology and improve as needed can help you stand out as a dependable and responsible employee. This will allow you to make a solid impression on supervisors and managers.
- Focus on Clear and Concise Communication
Communication is key to setting yourself apart from the rest while working remote. When you’re not in the office with your employer or co-workers, communication can be a challenge. You need communicate as clearly and concisely as possible. For example, you might choose to discuss the details of an upcoming project on the phone or during a virtual meeting rather than putting the information in an email that might be misinterpreted.
When you’re at home rather than at the office, it’s also important to communicate to stay updated or keep others in the loop. Send updates about a project you’re working on from time to time. You might also consider asking for regular meetings to communicate more efficiently with your co-workers and supervisors.
- Always Be Professional
Depending on the kind of work you do and the company you work for, remote work expectations might be more relaxed or casual than on-site work. For example, you might not be expected to dress up in business attire when you’re working remotely. However, you should verify your company’s expectations for remote employees so that you can meet them on a regular basis. You might consider dressing up for video meetings as you would if you were going to the office. Creating a professional appearance can go a long way toward helping you stand out as a remote worker.
- Pitch in as Needed
Working from home might make it easier for you to get your work done in a shorter amount of time, especially if you’re dealing with fewer distractions or interruptions. When you’ve done your work for the day, consider offering to help with other projects or tasks, as needed. Actively seek out more opportunities to pitch in, such as assisting with a project or handling a few tasks to free up another work team.
Stepping up to help other employees can show management that you’re a team player with a commitment to the company’s success. While your opportunities to help might be more limited as a remote worker, it doesn’t hurt to offer a helping hand.
- Balance Speed and Efficiency
You may be able to accomplish tasks and complete projects more quickly as a remote employee, but you should make sure you’re not making errors that could affect your work quality. Working more efficiently and quickly shouldn’t mean lower quality work. Some employers may even have higher expectations for remote employees if they view getting to work from home as a perk. These employers might expect consistently higher quality from remote employees, since they know there usually aren’t as many interruptions at home.
When you work from home, you might have the ability to do projects at your own pace without strict deadlines. If this is the case, make sure you find the right balance for completing these projects in a timely manner without sacrificing quality. Achieving this balance can help ensure that you stand out as a remote worker.
- Make Yourself Available
Working from home might mean you’re able to set your own hours or schedule. However, you should make sure the hours you work match your team members’ and supervisors’ schedules as much as possible. This helps ensure that they’re easily able to get ahold of you throughout the day. For example, you should avoid working later in the day and into the evening if you know that your team mainly works in the morning and early afternoon. You should be available to answer questions, communicate about projects, and discuss issues promptly rather than making them wait.
In addition to having a work schedule that’s in sync with your co-workers and supervisors, you should make sure they can easily reach you. You can use a variety of tools for this, such as messaging systems, email, virtual meetings, and project management software. Use whatever tools necessary to ensure timely communication with your employer and co-workers.
If you’re planning on building a successful business career, please contact the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) to get started. We offer a high-quality Master of Business Administration degree program to provide you with the skills necessary for a business career.