5 Ways to Help Your Company (and Your Career) While Working Remotely
The days of being around colleagues and sharing space are no more—at least for now.
The term “social distancing” has profoundly affected many employers because now they must plan for something they’ve never experienced before—a 100% remote workforce.
Many of us have been working remotely for the past few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re like me, working from home might have seemed like a huge challenge at first. You probably asked yourself, “How am I going to function without seeing people? How am I supposed to stay focused? How will I eat lunch alone? And who will I take coffee breaks with?”
Now, you might be worried about keeping your job because of the threat to the economy. How can you ensure you remain an active contributor—and that your supervisor and team know what you’re working on?
It’s likely that your employer provided you with the tools to work from home but didn’t tell you how to stay productive while out of your normal office routine.
Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track.
1. Communicate Progress
Creating a list can help you structure your workday, but how are you sharing your progress with your manager? There are several project management tools that allow you to track progress and offer your manager transparency. If adding new technology at this time is not an option, simply sending an email at the end of the week could also do the trick.
Many companies that work remotely permanently look back and communicate progress for goals over a longer time period, like the DeliciousBrains team, to make sure everybody is holding themselves accountable to their personal health goals.
2. Engage Virtually with Team Members
Take the initiative to organize virtual social gatherings with team members. Schedule virtual lunches with your buddies and engage with chat tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Slack. This will demonstrate leadership, connectedness, and positivity amongst everyone. And whenever possible, turn on your camera. You don’t want to be “out of sight, out of mind.” You can set your webcam to block out things in the background to create a proper workspace.
3. Be in Control of Social Media
Because of the Coronavirus, many companies are experiencing a financial setback. As a result, certain budgets are being cut or eliminated. This is an opportunity to capitalize on the power of social media because of its economic and timely nature. There are many ways you can add value to your company and customers by sharing relevant content, thought leadership, and best practices in professional channels that help customers. Be mindful that you are in control of your social media channels to add value and be productive—not to lose focus.
4. Embrace Breaks
Studies show that people work best by taking short breaks between surges of high activity. Make sure you carve out time to connect with peers and leaders on your availability. Make others aware of the time you have available to connect during scheduled meetings or through casual connections. Take advantage of preset features within communication platforms to show team members and leaders when you are available. Also, remember to step away from the computer and take a walk to get creative juices flowing with new scenery and fresh air.
5. Celebrate Your Small Wins
Make sure you acknowledge your progress by communicating with someone who cares about it. Usually, stakeholders won’t know something is happening on a project if you don’t communicate with them. Schedule 1:1 time with your manager to have consistent check-ins. If this hasn’t been a common practice with your manager, take the initiative, and plan it. Ask for feedback to ensure your time and contributions are aligned with your manager. Be proactive in understanding efforts across the business, and volunteer to support them. Taking this initiative will motivate you to stay focused and reach big wins!
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Considering these tips will empower you to make a positive contribution to your company and ensure you're remembered as a valued employee.
Tamika S. White is a senior product marketing manager; she is responsible for developing and implementing go-to-market programs for SentryOne products. Her experience includes product marketing, product management, and marketing at Wells Fargo, MetLife, and AvidXchange. In her free time, she loves traveling, watching documentaries, spending time with family, and cooking.