Recent statistics from FlexJobs: 3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9% of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half of the time, up from 1.8 million in 2005. As we continue to work from home we need to find ways to ensure we showcase our work.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your work is visible:
Have regular meetings with your manager: Set up a weekly one-on-one meeting on your manager’s calendar. I usually set these up for the whole year at the beginning of our fiscal year.
Send a weekly status update: I also provide a detailed agenda before our meeting, listing everything I accomplished for the week and the status on all the projects I am currently managing. If there are additional documents that I need to review, I add them to the same e-mail. Weekly status emails have worked very well for my manager and me. It helps us stay focused weekly, and gives my manager a good idea of how I am spending my time.
Have weekly meetings with your team: If you are leading a project, set these meetings up six months at a time. If you are part of a team, ensure you provide status updates during these meetings. Updates provide your team members visibility into where you are spending your time and increase trust within the team, which you need as a virtual employee.
Create a timeline: If you like MS Project, go ahead and put all your key tasks into MS Project and share them with your manager and team members. I also use MS Project as a tool to stay on track with my tasks and to see the information in a helpful format. The capability to make multiple changes also works well for me. If you are not a fan of MS Project, use other tools, such as MS Excel or Calendar, to keep track of your tasks.
Have face-to-face meetings: Meet with teammates and management face-to-face on a regular basis. Set up project review meetings with your management to share your work or ask for help if you do not see progress on your project. I have learned that when you present face-to-face, they not only hear your words but also see your passion and that you are productive. Seeing your work ensures them that they made the right decision to let you work remotely.
Build relationships: I am an introvert, so this one is challenging for me, but I know that it is important. I have a few close friends who are also my colleagues. I stay in touch with them via chat, e-mail, and phone calls. I set up lunch, dinner, or movie dates with them when I am in the same city as them. We connect face-to-face and have the girl talk that all women need! Introvert, Dear is a great website to help you if you are an introvert.
Share information: Be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) on what you do and exchange information with your teammates. Sharing restates that you are good at what you do and that you keep up with new trends within your job responsibilities.