Dear Focus, how do I stay visible when working remotely?
Working remotely or in some cases hybrid has become a challenge for some team members to appear to be visible.
It is actually a series of different questions I have received via the anonymous career advice form in recent weeks.
As recommended in is playing the game essential advice article, there are many times you will need to be available, be part of things you do not naturally lean toward, times where what you need to do is be more proactively and importantly managers, bring those up around you.
Delivery Presence, Deadlines, Internal Networking are the key categories for you to consider when considering how you are visible, and importantly, how you might manage and tackle this as a leader of the team.
- Delivering on a project, a campaign or a product release is the best way of staying visible, being able to take your opportunity is always the best way of staying visible and demonstrating you were part of important part of work.
- Be The Sender: Sending out the message that you or your team have delivered on a large project or campaign is a great way to be seen and a way to be celebrated or supported.
- Be part of fixing the problems. One problem two solutions is a great framework to use and introduce
- Celebrating the metrics vs just celebrating delivering is always favoured within mature businesses so keeping this in mind is impartive.
- If you and your manager are not having regular check-ins but you would like to ensure they know what you are ‘doing, done and achieved’ I recommend a weekly email to your manager with (a) what is working, (b) what are you working on and (c) what has been delivered and (d) anything to be cautious of, trends within the industry or larger themes you should be on top of.
- Managers: Be able to congratulate and bring your team members to present and send the email or company-wide slack update is essential. If you are a c-suite exec or on the management team always bring your team members to discuss the delivery and early numbers in leadership meetings, help to prep them and bring them along the journey
- Build out your presence while online meeting, offer to take notes, chair the meeting or own the workstream. This is more work, however, with structure and operational excellence this will help to stay visible and build your presence around the company
- Concentrate in the meetings and taking part of meetings, always be prepared to add value or unique insights (versus adding more opinions) and contribute to the follow-up conversations or offer to lead new projects.
- Managers: Asking for your team feedback and for someone’s expert opinion particularly when they prefer to be asked is essential, it will help you bring on others presence and their visibility but also helps the team to know their presence and their expertise is vital for the companies success.
- Something many have allowed to slip while working remotely is deadlines slipping or not hitting deadlines.
Hitting deadlines will always be essential and be vital for a companies success. Hitting a deadline is often the difference between being seen, respected and having positive mindshare vs having negative mindshare and having trust.
- If/when possible create the GANTT or the roadmap and be the point of contact on the deadlines and deliverables
- Be deliberate in communications, not over-communicating, update colleagues on the progress of the project and how you are progressing against deadlines. On many occasions, this is happening however remember internally marketing is as important as externally marketing and applies to projects of all sizes
- Managers: Setting realistic deadlines – this is the flip side when a manager of a team or business leader, very often setting aggressive deadlines actually hinders your teams chance of being visible and hitting targets and creating a negative
Developing Your Internal Network
- Build out connections – something when working remotely or in the hybrid workforce is you tend to neglect networking and building internal and external connections, actively work on networking and connecting with colleagues within the organisation and have quick coffees and be available to help colleagues if they need someone to assist them or be a support network
- One to one’s are always important – ensure you are keeping up with your one to ones, where possible look to meet with your bosses boss in skip meetings. This is often invaluable and creating a connection with your bosses boss or your team’s team creates better connections
- Virtual lunches – this might sound like more work and your time however one of the missing parts of connections when remote or hybrid is eating together and drinking together. I recommend making the same lunch and having 30 minutes where you just talk or connect over something trivial, a tool like donut (slack tool) will help you with virtual meetings and randomised meetings, you scheduling this and working with colleagues will be important
Here are a number of hybrid work tools and apps to help you become successful in hybrid.
- Hybird lunches – sometimes teams go to lunch when in the office and those who are not there will miss out, where possible consider how you might integrate those working remotely or organise a day and time where colleagues can come together and eat or allow those remote to be present in the hybrid lunch. This also works offsite too.
- Network events – something a handful of mart companies have created is hybrid and remote network events with tools like hopin and riverside and connect colleagues in break out rooms, with Q&A between departments and presentations on important projects and successful campaigns and releases
- Managers consider building out management pods to connect you and your management team more closely
- Managers: It is important to remember remote offsites and remote sessions are not always the silver bullet to bring teams together
There are many more brilliant pieces of advice for managers and leaders in the fixing the broken world of work podcast.
Best of luck and keep moving forward.