Working remotely in different work locations, such as your own home, can have countless advantages. You can function more independently, extricate yourself from office politics and be more productive thanks to the lack of distractions. Add to that the fact that you don't have to suffer the hassle or expense of commuting, it becomes overwhelmingly clear why so many people are favouring this option.
But working remotely is sometimes seen to have one great drawback - you aren’t as visible to your colleagues and managers. So if you're working remotely, how can you maintain visibility within your team and manager?
Make yourself seen (digitally)
If you ever need to interact with office-based colleagues, try a video call instead of communicating over the phone or via email. This will help people gain visibility of you (literally) whilst working remotely. With the rise of video conferencing systems, such as Skype, you are now able to remain present and engaged with your colleagues and it will allow you to pick up on non-verbal cues that may otherwise have been missed.
Take part in company-wide initiatives
Put yourself forward to be involved in projects that require interaction with your colleagues. If you are leading a new project it will allow you to engage and liaise with colleagues. Find a project or initiative to interact with people you might not normally get to speak to, this allows you to remind everybody that you are working (whilst doing so remotely). And, it also means you'll be foremost in your mangers mind next time they need to get a willing and helpful person on board with a particular project or initiative.
Start messaging people
Many conversations that take place in a working environment aren’t actually about work, but the day-to-day discussions that go on is valuable as it helps build a rapport between colleagues. In a collaborative work environment, many conversations takes place over instant messenger and email programs. So if you are working remotely don’t be afraid to use messenger programs to help maintain your relationships with colleagues. This will help ensure you're an active participant in what goes on within your team and organisation as much as anyone else.
Have regular meetings
If you’re working remotely, make sure you catch up on a regular basis with your direct manager and colleagues. This will help you maintain visibility within your team while working remotely. Having regular meetings about what’s happening within your team will help improve workflow and communication. It also gives you a chance to talk about your successes or issues that impact everyone. With people increasingly working remotely it is important to keep in touch and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Communicate when and where you working
It’s important to communicate to your team and the business when you are working remotely. It gives people an idea of when you will be physically visible in the office and when they will have to prioritise emailing and calling you. Start getting into a habit of letting your team know which days you will working remotely at the beginning of the week. Additionally make sure your voicemail informs callers when you’re working remotely as this will help reduce frustration if people are unable to reach you. If you work flexible hours that vary to your businesses normal hours, put a re-occurring out of office on informing people of the hours you work, this will ensure people understand when the best time is to reach you.
There is plenty you can do maintain visibility while working remotely. By making a few changes to your working day, you can be seen more visibly to your colleagues in the office every day.