“Cultivating a space for yourself in your boss’ mind is an essential step in strengthening your professional relationships and underscoring the value you bring to your organisation,” Jenny Folley said.
Jenny Folley is the founder and CEO of @WORKSPACES, a leading premium co-working and private office space business with locations throughout the country and across the world.
“The issue is, how do you stay front of mind when you are working from home? Prior to COVID, most people worked near their boss and were able to maintain a sense of presence by simply chatting across the office floor, or catching up for a good old chinwag in the office kitchen,” Folley added.
“Relationship building and maintaining presence has always been a good tactic to stay front of mind, especially when promotional opportunities arise. Now, the ability to be physically present has been removed with many people working from home.”
According to Folley, workers now need to find other ways of staying visible while working from home. She has put together some tips to help people stay visible and connected to work colleagues, including the boss, while working from home.
1. Be responsive and communicative
“Remember to promptly answer emails, messages over the virtual work platform you are using and any other communication from your boss and colleagues. Asking questions during moments of conversation and team discussion demonstrates that you are engaged with the subject at hand,” Folley said.
“Be thoughtful of others. Be careful to not only talk about yourself and your own achievements in the professional group chat or during video meetings – ask questions of others. Remain a part of the team and look to discuss your colleagues, your boss’ and the collective teams’ daily tasks, as well as your own.
“It is also vital to set boundaries on what you are willing to discuss with your colleagues – be sure that the time you take to be communicative does not eat into your productivity!”
2. Attend all online meetings
“When working from home, video calls and virtual team meetings are one of the best ways to consistently stay in your manager’s or supervisor’s line of sight,” Folley said.
“Don’t skip meetings, come early and make sure all your settings are correct, and turn on both your camera and microphone. This way, both your colleagues and boss will know you are present and prepared to pay attention.
“If your team does not hold daily or weekly team meetings, suggest doing so with your boss, as this will let them know you are eager to connect and remain accessible while working remotely.”
3. Be upbeat, positive and interesting
“Lockdown and working from home can get very boring. Feeling workplace sick is actually a thing. Like being homesick, people are feeling work sick – they miss being at work, catching up with work colleagues, engaging in workplace banter and lunchtime and after-work get-togethers,” Folley added.
“Add some life to ZOOM meetings with quirky backgrounds. Set up remote work trivia quizzes. Helping to lift the virtual atmosphere with energy and positivity is a good thing and definitely helps to make people feel like it is good to have you around.”
4. Schedule one-on-one meetings with your boss
“Let your supervisor or manager know that you are open to hearing feedback and suggestions on your performance by asking for a virtual one-on-one meeting with them once in a while,” Folley said.
“During the meeting, be confident in sharing your perspective and providing ideas and suggestions of your own on how to improve the virtual workspace and remote working environment.”
5. Engage with your organisation’s social media
“Most organisations have social media sites these days, especially LinkedIn. These are usually updated on a regular basis,” Folley said.
“Support and engage with your organisation’s pages where appropriate. If new posts are uploaded on to social media platforms, like them and where appropriate provide positive feedback. This shows that the organisation comprises happy, proud and engaged team members. Tag others to include your team members in your activities.
“This shows that you care and are actively following and engaged with your organisation’s activities.”
6. Be transparent and flexible
“To ensure that your boss continues to see you in a positive light while you’re working from home, you have to stay transparent about any non-work obligations, which may change your schedule,” Folley added.
“While out of the office, it’s understandable that some family and home responsibilities may interfere with certain goals. Being transparent and flexible will allow you to effectively reorganise to successfully meet your task deadlines and your boss’ expectations.
“Flexibility doesn’t just matter for your own to-do list. You should be flexible and accommodating to your team-mates and manager’s scheduling needs, if you expect them to do the same for you.”