Thanks to 2020, fully remote job positions have become more common than ever before. They offer flexibility and access to jobs you never would be able to commute to without relocating.
However, if you aren’t used to working remotely, the change might take some adjusting. How do you connect with colleagues? How do you keep yourself focused?
Here are some tips on how to stand out at your remote job.
1. Make Connections
When you aren’t seeing colleagues face to face, it takes a bit more effort to have office banter. But making connections is no less important, even if you don’t share an office space.
Use your interoffice communication software to do more than just ask about deliverable updates. When reaching out to colleagues, ask about their day, their weekend plans, anything they’re currently struggling with. Ask how you can help them out; do what you can to support them. If they’re working remotely as well, it’s easy for them to feel isolated. You want to make sure they feel just as supported as you want to be.
2. Make Your Name Known
Just because you aren’t seeing people face to face doesn’t mean you don’t have opportunities to get your name out there: both inside and outside of the company.
To make your mark, you need to:
- Speak up during meetings. Meetings are your opportunity to make your name more than a word on your Zoom screen. Engage by unmuting and giving your two cents, and also make sure your camera is on the whole time. While it’s more comfortable to wear sweats and lie down with the camera off, show that you are a professional team player who has opinions and things to contribute to the workplace.
- Build your online presence. Coworkers aren’t the only people you want to build connections with. Staying active on LinkedIn and building your digital brand will help your coworkers not only get a better sense of your professional personality but will help you connect with other industry professionals. Who knows? They might prove valuable to your network in the future.
3. Give Frequent Updates
If you’re ahead, behind, or just have a clarifying connection, don’t be afraid to send a quick Slack message to your coworkers or superior. It’s easy to “go dark” when working remotely, and when this happens, your team won’t know what to expect from you at the end of the day. Make sure at least once a day, either at the beginning or end, you send updates as to where you are on your current workload and when they can expect to receive your deliverables.
4. Stay on Top of Projects
Despite the widespread adoption of work-from-home roles, there are still some stigmas that working from home isn’t as productive as a traditional office environment. While this mindset directly contradicts many studies, you still need to prove that you are just as valuable an asset at home as you are in an office.
Stay on top of your projects to the best of your ability, but be proactive when an inevitable delay occurs. If there is anything holding you back from meeting a deadline, communicate it well in advance so others can adjust their schedules to accommodate that delay.
5. Optimize Your Work From Home Space
Struggling to stay productive at home? There are plenty of steps you can take to optimize your work from home experience.
- Designate an official office space. Even if you don’t have an office of your own, pick one area as your “working zone.” Pick somewhere quiet, with plenty of natural light, and out of view from any house projects that need to happen (e.g. don’t pick a work spot in view of the dirty laundry hamper). Even if it’s just one specific stool at the counter, when you enter that zone, it is Work Time.
- Get dressed for work. Just because you aren’t going anywhere doesn’t mean you should wear your PJs 24/7 (as tempting as that may be). Getting yourself dressed up puts your mind in Work Mode and keeps you from getting too comfy in the house. Plus, if your boss has a last-minute conference call they want you to jump on, you won’t have to scramble around the house to make your top half look presentable.
- Set boundaries with roommates. Whether it’s your spouse, your kid, or your friend, make sure the people you live with know that between your working hours, you are at work. You aren’t able to run an errand for them, because you are working from home, not hanging out at home. Of course, there are always times when an exception could be made, but as a general rule, you are inaccessible during work hours, even if you are only a few feet away.
5. Go Above and Beyond
Go above and beyond in your work. While you should still make yourself heard with communication, your work should also speak for itself. Prove that even without meeting in person, you can stand out by the quality of the work you produce.
To be the best you can be, learn from the people around you. Use your professional relationships to your advantage and soak up the wisdom from those that you’re sharing an industry with.
Always try to continue your education, whether that be through following industry leaders, reading books, taking classes, or doing follow-up research with the latest studies. Discover new trends, study the latest methods, and learn from others’ mistakes. The right company will value your work (and will compensate you for it).
Stand Out at Your Remote Job By Being You
There’s no better way to set yourself apart than by being yourself; there’s only one you, and you’re the only one that can do the job your way. Whatever you do best, bring that energy, expertise, and attitude to the virtual office. Your individuality will help you stand out by helping you bring your certain special something to the team.
And if your team doesn’t want to see your personality? It’s time to find an office that wants all of you.Published in
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.