These days, more professionals are working at home than ever before. In fact, remote work has increased exponentially since 2005–by 159%, according to a recent report. Current circumstances worldwide have moved many companies into working remotely in a short period of time. So what’s the secret for how to stand out at work when you’re remote?
There are pros and cons to working remotely, and one of the major cons is the lack of visibility. When you’re not working in a physical office, it can be difficult to stay top-of-mind with your bosses and teammates. So how can you keep yourself on their radar? How do you avoid being just another face behind a screen?
Whether you’re working at home for the first time or a veteran remote worker, there are many ways you can stand out at work. Here are some tips to help you get started.
What Do Companies Look for in Remote Employees?
A remote team must be able to work smoothly and efficiently across a variety of locations. Each member of the team needs to work independently, with minimal oversight, and maintain effective communication. When companies hire remote workers, there are several standout traits they’re looking for.
1. Availability and responsiveness
If you’re wondering how to stand out at work in any scenario, being a great communicator will get you noticed. When you’re a remote worker, communication is more important than ever before. That’s because you all need to be able to rely on one another to complete projects and achieve your goals, no matter how far away you are.
It’s important to be clear and concise in your work-related communication. Working behind a screen means it can be easier for teammates to misinterpret one another. Therefore, it’s critical to carefully consider your words and intent before you respond. Always double-check your chat messages and emails before you send them out, for example.
Your remote team will likely rely on a variety of communication tools, including:
- Virtual meeting tools (Zoom, Skype, etc.)
- Chat tools (Slack, WhatsApp, etc.)
- Project management software (ClickUp, Asana, Teamwork, etc.)
Your employer or clients will want to have access to you so they can send you assignments, check your progress, and answer questions. Be ready to be available to them regularly, primarily during normal business hours. The willingness to be available for business calls, chats, and emails will go a long way with your bosses and teammates. Do set boundaries when it comes to your availability, but also work toward responding promptly to requests.
Building a sense of trust with your employer will help you to stand out at work. This is especially true in a remote scenario, where your boss can’t walk over to your desk to check your progress. Abiding by deadlines and milestones, as well as being available to your team, will help you build trust. Additionally, sticking to your word will go a long way.
3. The ability to organize and self-structure
To be a successful work-from-home employee (or contractor), you need to be able to structure your day for maximum productivity and quality. High-quality work stands out, particularly when you work remotely. Additionally, you’ll garner attention by getting more done in less time.
Structuring your day and your environment means you’ve got a great routine that works for you. It means you have a dedicated workspace, plenty of uninterrupted time to get projects done, and clear boundaries around work and self-care. Working remotely means life and work are more likely to bleed together, so the ability to separate and compartmentalize the two is paramount to doing top-notch work.
4. Adaptability and proactiveness
Being adaptable and proactive will help you tremendously in how to stand out at work. Adaptability helps us adjust to change–and there can be a lot of adjustment when it comes to working remotely. You may need to step in to help with projects you’re not accustomed to helping with. In addition, your team might go through more than one project management software migration before you land on the right tools.
Adaptability also means you’re willing to continue learning new skills and expanding your professional abilities. Continuing your professional education will make a great impression on your boss. It will also open doors to new opportunities for you.
Proactivity comes in handy–and gets noticed–because you’re able to anticipate your team’s needs more readily. Be aware of what your teammates and bosses need, and try to step up to provide those things long before you’re asked. Being an asset to your team will keep you front-and-center, and help you get noticed.
Having a high level of accountability will help you go far as a remote employee. It’s important not only to be willing to be held accountable for your work. It is also invaluable for members of a team to own when they’ve made a mistake. Willingness to answer for yourself and own your missteps will go a long way.
Staying Top-of-Mind with Your Bosses When Working Remotely
As a remote worker, you’ll need to make an extra effort to stay top-of-mind with your bosses. They have many employees to manage, and if part or all of your team is remote, there are a lot of you to keep up with.
Keep a high level of communication with your boss if possible. They won’t be able to stop by your cubicle to check your progress on projects, so you want to stay in touch. You’re going to need to build and maintain good rapport, goodwill, and a high level of trust if you want to know how to stand out at work.
Even though you won’t be able to have in-person progress meetings, your boss will still want to hear from you. Make time to communicate with them, specifically. Doing so shows a high level of accountability and enthusiasm for the work you’re doing.
Standing Out to Your Teammates as a Remote Worker
Want to know how to stand out at work among your teammates? Stay connected, show interest in each individual, and be willing to step up to help anyone who needs it.
When you work remotely, it’s easy to work in a “silo” or an echo chamber. Remote work can be isolating if you’re not taking steps to stay connected with the people on your team. But staying in touch and collaborating well will make you especially memorable.
Work to grow your personal connections with your teammates and help to build rapport. It’s extremely valuable for remote workers to feel connected to one another–so work to facilitate that. Connectivity will build goodwill and morale, which in turn will help your team succeed.
It takes intentional action to stand out at work, especially as a remote worker. But the good news is, it’s absolutely possible. In the end, it’s all about communicating well, being there for one another, and doing great work regardless of your location.
Do you work remotely? What do you do to stand out to your bosses and your team? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image via BRO.vector / shutterstock.com