Just because you’re out of sight, doesn’t mean you should be out of mind. Here’s how to stay on the radar when you’re working remotely.
Whether you’re working from home, a coffee shop or secondary office, if you’re not in the hub of your business you might easily be forgotten. It’s up to you to make sure you make yourself heard.
A lot of business is based on trust. While this can come from how you handle your work, it also comes from day-to-day interactions. We judge people on first looks. If you’re working remotely you might not get this opportunity so you have to build trust in other ways.
• Pay a visit: Even a single visit makes you more human and trusting.
• Friendly tone: To start with, on calls and emails have a friendly tone with colleagues, even going as far as to add a few jokes to show your personality.
• Be honest: When interacting always be honest. Even if it’s hard to do so. You’ll earn their trust in the long term doing this.
Embrace video conferencing
Video conferencing is a cheap and easily accessible way to keep in visual contact with your office. Even the most basic laptops are fitted with cameras and most broadband speeds can handle a simple video call.
It’ll give you a human face among colleagues and will make sure that you’re in the mind of your boss. You can also share your work during these conferences on screen. Which leads us to…
Share your work digitally
While emailing your work across is fine there are many other, more effective ways to share work so office-based colleagues can collaborate and you can show the progress you’re making.
Google Docs allows you to mark-up changes as you go, while Yammer is a business based social media bringing instant messaging, updates and social posts to your office. Slack is a great app for quick chat among colleagues.
Keep in contact
Letting your boss and colleagues know how you’re getting on is important. Those in the office can let the boss know how things are going in passing but you’ve got to be a bit more forceful. Ideally, you should be sending over a daily roundup of the work you’ve done and what your plans are for the following days.
Also, keep your phone on you at all times. If you pop to the shops for some tea bags and don’t answer your phone, people in the office will get annoyed. Always answer, and if you aren’t able to let them know with a quick email explaining why.
In the office, if someone needs a hand they’ll literally shout up. But if you’re not there to hear their call it could seem like you’re not willing to help. If you do get a bit of downtime send an email or instant message to your office letting them know you’re willing to help out on any projects.
But be clear to lay out how much free time you have. If you email saying ‘Got nothing to do. Can I help?’ it sounds like you’re just sat around twiddling your thumbs. But if you email saying, ‘I should have an hour of spare time this afternoon to help out with any additional work’ you make it clear you’re busy until then.
You’ve got to prove to your boss that you can work hard from home – more so than if you were in the office. For the first few months you’re going to have to be much more productive than if you were in the office, as many will assume you’re sat at home watching daytime TV.
Posted by The Secret Businessman