Does working from home mean you’re doomed to fade into the background and go unnoticed by your manager? Yes, working remotely does mean you get less facetime with managers and coworkers. But it doesn’t mean you can’t stay visible or get promotions and recognition for your hard work.
Since remote workers are typically more productive than their in-office colleagues, it’s important to be proactive in sharing your efforts and results with the rest of your team. As a remote worker, to get the visibility, credit, and rewards you deserve, you need to learn how to communicate your accomplishments effectively with your team.
Here are four tips for staying visible and getting promotions when you work remotely.
Start casual conversations.
“Water cooler” conversations are one of the best ways to establish yourself as an integral member of a team. Working remotely has a lot of benefits, but isolation from the rest of your team isn’t one of them. To avoid becoming a hermit, it’s important to start conversations with your managers and coworkers. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Send coworkers messages on Monday mornings to ask how their weekends were. Pick up the phone to wish them a happy birthday.
Make an effort to maintain your own version of a virtual water cooler conversation with the people on your team, and others in the company. The more “friendly” you are as remote worker, the less likely you are to be forgotten.
When speaking with your manager, ask them clarifying questions about the projects you’re working on. This will show them that you’re on-task with your assignments, and that you’re paying attention to details and want to do a great job.
There is one caveat to this tip–be sure to ask quality, specific questions. If you ask too many questions about a particular project, people will begin to wonder if you know what you’re doing!
Keep in regular contact.
Plan to send your manager a daily email at the end of each day (or week). The email should be brief, and give them an update on the tasks you’ve completed, the ones you’re currently working on, and what’s on your horizon. You want your manager to understand quickly, and without an overload of information, how much you’re accomplishing and your value to the team.
The goal of this particular tip is to give your manager every reason to recognize and reward your hard work. Remote work or not, if you’re producing for the team and the company, you’re an asset they can’t afford to forget!
Be strategic in what you reveal.
Most of these tips revolve around regular communication with your manager and your team. But it’s important to be strategic with those communications. Keep complaints and negative thoughts to a minimum, and focus more on having a positive, enthusiastic approach. If you do have a problem to discuss, try to bring solutions to the problem, rather than leaving it for your manager to figure out.
Because your manager probably has somewhat less contact with you as a remote worker than they would if you worked alongside them in an office, you want to be sure the impression you’re making on him or her is as positive as possible.
Finally, all of this chit chat and conversing is great, but when it comes down to it, you need to ask for what you want. If your goal at the end of the year is a raise or promotion, do your best work all year long to prepare. But when the time comes, you should also be prepared to request a promotion or raise, with the data and evidence to support your request. Because you’ve laid a solid foundation of communication all year long, staying visible and recognizable, your manager won’t be able to deny your contributions to the company, no matter how far away your home office happens to be.
Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs and a contributing writer for 1 Million for Work Flexibility. FlexJobs is the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible jobs, listing thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. Brie provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs blog.