While working remotely may be the norm for us either temporarily or indefinitely the changes can most likely alter your work ethics. Whether it’s waking up later, dressed in sweats, or literally working from bed these changes can affect your productivity. Also, let’s not forget the working parents who are schooling or monitoring their kids at the same time. (Ya'll the real MVPs!)
The work environment may have changed but the emergence of workload has done the exact opposite it seems. I've noticed that the daily number of meetings have tripled ( a few of them could have been e-mails... but I digress) and the work has not slowed down as we enter a new quarter of the year.
So now more than ever it's important to stay on top of our work and produce at a high level as if we were in the office. Visibility within your company leads to numerous opportunities, benefits, and experiences. If an executive can put a name or face to an email or meeting they are more likely to open doors for you that you wouldn’t have access to. These doors could consist of introducing you to someone that can help take your career to the next level. Personally, I’m always of thinking of ways I can advance and move up in the company...because glass ceiling where? (I'm Blue Ivy to ceilings..IYKYK). Which leads us to the topic of this post: How do you maintain visibility especially as a woman or minority while working from the comfort of your home?
I’ve collected some tips that have helped me transition from coming into the office Monday-Friday to now working from home. These tips can also be translated in the office for those of us who are currently there, or in the event you have to return later to it. Also, these tips are just in time as we approach mid-year performance evaluations too. For my 9-5ers, The Head Barker Babes got you!
1. Never Leave a Meeting Without Saying Anything-It’s important to leave your mark every time you enter or leave a meeting. The best way to do that in my opinion is to try one or all the following: ask thought-provoking questions, engage in discussions, and provide valuable insight or updates. If you're unable to do any of those three, try informing the group of what you’re working on and discuss any challenges or key takeaways that may be helpful to the group to be aware of on the subject.
2. Volunteer to Take on Additional Projects- As time permits, ask your manager if there are any side projects that you can lead or assist with. These projects should consist of something that you’re passionate about so be specific when requesting additional projects. If you're direct on what you're looking for you'll avoid being provided “busy work”. Busy work is fine but projects that can help move your career or refine your skills should take priority.
3. Request to Take Lead on Team Meeting- Ask your manager if you can take lead on the meeting. This request could be in the result of their absence one day or even just to take some of the leadership load off of them. Facilitating a meeting not only shows leadership but also the initiative to expand your role and be someone your manager can depend on.
4. Offer to Take Notes in the Meeting - This is a great option, If you're not ready to lead a team meeting just yet. This may seem like a simple task, and may even be one that is designated to a particular team member but it shows that you are a team player. Note taking is an important piece of a meeting for people to use as a reference. You never know who in the company may call on you to apprise them of the meeting and team updates.
5. Offer to Mentor or Assist Onboarding Employees - if you’ve been with the company for some time or been on a certain team consistently this could be a great way to show off your leadership skills. If you feel confident enough to be able to lead others and assist them with getting acclimated -do it! This creates team camaraderie and now you have others that will look to you as a great resource on the team-and will more than likely spread the word. This is another way to add leadership and team player points to your resume!
6. Acknowledge when Employees have made Contributions to the Team--Who doesn’t like to be recognized for their hard work and efforts? No matter their level in the company, anyone would want to be complimented and commended for their success. If someone knocked a presentation out the park, or did a great job leading a call, let them know! If someone was able to step in and cover a meeting for you or help you achieve a goal or deadline-Let them know! This could be done by a nicely written email (and copying their manager) or giving them a shout out in a large team call. Appreciation and acknowledgment goes a long way.
7. Continue to Share Items and Ideas that are Beneficial to the Team- Don't be stingy with your knowledge especially things that you have learned and have been helpful to your success. Be mindful of how you can help others that come after you, especially when someone has helped you to get to where you are. Also, If you have an idea that can be helpful to your team and the entire business group, let your manager know. Make sure to present the idea in a way that you get credit for it as well. These ideas could be program reforms or business initiatives. Even simply forwarding a newsletter or news story that may be of interest to the group to initiate productive discussions. These are all great ways to make vital contributions to the team and will make you stand out even more. Visibility is key to breaking barriers and glass ceilings. if they see you coming, it's harder for them to deny you access when your talents and contributions speak for itself.
***Bonus Tip: don’t forget to take your PTO. Working at home is just as consuming as coming into the office and in some cases you may be putting in more work. Take the time to get out of the house and away from your laptop or home office, to give yourself necessary time to reset and be on top of your game for work.***
Tell us...What’s been helping you stay visible at work?