Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: How to Gain Recognition within New Work Models
As we shift how and how often we interact with our bosses and colleagues; we face a new challenge: How to remain visible and stand out at work as remote work becomes more the norm.
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The days of clocking in to the office from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, are fading fast. New models of work—shorter work weeks, hybrid work, full-time remote—have removed geographical barriers and made the framework of the workday more flexible and have shown to increase performance. And people favor the change: In a recent LinkedIn poll conducted by LHH, only four percent of participants say they want to return to the office full time following the pandemic; 45 percent prefer a hybrid or part-time arrangement, and 51 percent prefer to work remotely full time going forward.
There’s a clear willingness and interest in changing how we work (and when and where), but we still want our achievements to be noticed. As we shift how and how often we interact with our bosses and colleagues, we face a new challenge: How to remain visible and stand out at work as remote work becomes more the norm.
Here are three ways you can ensure that out of sight does not mean out of mind at work:
1/ Be your own advocate. Whether within a team or across departments, more nuanced details of how a project is going or how an individual is performing are less likely to be shared when people are working from different locations. Make sure your boss knows what you’re focused on, what your challenges are, and what you’ve accomplished. Advocating for yourself means keeping track of successes in your own work, and ensuring you make time with your management to share these successes and express your goals going forward. Arrange regular check-in meetings with your manager where you can talk about performance and share your contributions.
2/ Contribute and be heard. Remote meetings can make speaking feel more awkward. It’s hard to replicate the full in-person experience, no matter how advanced the technology. It can be tempting to feel like an observer in, for example, a zoom call with multiple participants. As with an in-person meeting, you want to be sure you’re contributing valuable input and not just talking to talk, but make it an intention to speak up, to offer feedback, to make your presence known. Make a point of having something to say and saying it confidently and clearly. And if group calls don’t allow for enough of this, be proactive about arranging for smaller or even one-to-one meetings to get your ideas noticed.
3/ Engage interpersonally. In an office environment, it is often quite natural for colleagues to share among themselves what matters to them outside of work. If someone is raising money for a charity run, or performing at a local open mic event, you hear about it. These tidbits of personal reveal help form relationships, build trust, and encourage authenticity in teams. New work models do not diminish the importance of these interactions, but they can mean you have to be more deliberate about sharing your own personal experiences and interests and hearing about those of your teammates. Find ways to interact on non-work topics. Ask how your teammate’s holiday was, or if anyone can suggest a great workout playlist. You can stand out more when you are able to share more about yourself and demonstrate interest in others.
There are enormous benefits to the new models of work—but as it becomes more normalized to be flexible about time zones, geography, and working days, we cannot lose sight of the value of meaningful interaction to ensure your efforts at work are acknowledged and rewarded. Out of sight should not mean out of mind; it just means finding new ways to ensure your impact is noticed.