Remote and hybrid job roles are still relatively new modes of professional engagement for many companies. These modes of operation represent an evolution that is creating positive results for employees and employers alike.
Many employees welcome these opportunities and would like to see remote work succeed and become the norm. In fact, according to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 68% say that having the opportunity to split their time between their home office and their workplace is ideal; one in three employees would lose fit with an employer who expects them to be onsite full-time.
If you have the opportunity for a hybrid or a remote schedule, it's important to ensure the success of that arrangement by creating a process to show the value of what you do. Get started with these five ways to demonstrate your remote work and track your success.
1. Create Systems That Serve You
Working as a remote or hybrid professional requires a refined degree of self-management and organization.
Kamaria Rutland, founder and principal coach of consulting and corporate training firm OTM Coaching Group states that “Self-management is about taking ownership and responsibility for one's actions and performance. Remote employees have a tremendous responsibility to consistently prove to their manager and organization that they can produce high-quality work when away from the office.”
Maintain a comprehensive track record of the moves you make: phone calls, emails, correspondences, etc. Track your efforts meticulously, noting the details of your actions so that you can easily conjure those specifics if you need to get a coworker up to speed or report on your work.
If your company uses a database where you can track your daily actions, use it religiously. If not, create a simple log to track the daily external and internal conversations and activities you engage in.
Be a diligent ambassador for the remote program. Adopt a communication strategy that enables your manager and team to know what’s been done and to jump in and further your efforts if you need an assist. It’s a way to maintain consistency and clarity for your team.
“Throughout the pandemic, employees have overwhelmingly proven that productivity levels were not sacrificed due to the shift in remote work,” adds Rutland. “Proper self-management skills afford employees the opportunity to develop their work style preferences at home, maximize their time in the office and regulate their energy through the day to balance priorities at work and home.”
2. Create Reports That Showcase Your Efforts
It's important to find meaningful ways to report on your work. If your workplace uses a database, ask your support team to create reports that you can run weekly or monthly that showcase your daily moves. If you’re logging your efforts manually, create a simple tracking system that enables you to quickly calculate your weekly or monthly efforts.
Think about how to demonstrate your output so that you can easily chart your productivity and cue in your manager and your coworkers. Your reporting devices are communication tools. They demonstrate your activities and bring everyone into the loop.
Creating meaningful reports about your productivity is also an opportunity to make the case that remote and hybrid opportunities seed productivity, which bodes well for the program.
3. Request Regular Meetings With Management
Your team leaders may be overwhelmed as they try to get everyone on board with a system that continues to evolve and change. They have had a lot on their plates as they’ve adjusted to COVID protocols and have worked to manage a team that might still be new to the remote work lifestyle.
Make yourself easy to manage by setting up regular meetings and coming well-prepared to discuss your work. Set up a recurring meeting and ensure each meeting has a set agenda.
Ask management for input about what is working and what is needed. One challenge that comes with remote work is that managers may forget about you if you’re too well-contained. Don’t let that happen. Remain a presence on your manager’s radar.
Show your manager that you’re actively engaged in the work of managing your own efforts but that you’re also eager and open for your manager’s support, suggestions, and buy-in. While self-management is an important skill to demonstrate, you also have a manager whose guidance you can count on. Find that balance of working independently and using the guidance your manager offers.
4. Understand Performance Metrics
When you meet with management, discuss how new workplace dynamics impact performance metrics and the performance review process. It's important to learn how the company plans to continue the review process and how you might measure your efforts to support performance conversations. Since more team members are working remotely than ever before, the performance process may be changing indefinitely.
Rutland points out: “Remote employees do not have the daily interactions with team leadership as they once did when working in the same office. This reduces the opportunity for real-time coaching and development."
In other words, what has worked in the past when employees were largely in the office may not be an adequate means to measure performance now. She explains: “Performance metrics should also be re-evaluated to ensure that employees have clear and quantifiable measurements for their success. Vague measurements are extremely difficult to communicate and create improved action plans for remote employees.”
Preparing for your performance review requires a different approach than in the past since you are doing more self-management. It's important to set specific and measurable goals for yourself to have tangible results during your next performance review. When it comes time to showcase your performance, provide two strengths and two growth opportunities to show your positive work efforts and that you are still coachable and willing to learn.
5. Contribute to Culture-Building Initiatives
If you are meeting the demands of your role and crushing it as a remote or hybrid professional, keep your name on everyone’s radar screen by contributing to the culture of your professional community. Join or lead an Employee Resource Group (ERG), plan a special event or meeting at work, take on a mentor or a mentee, or volunteer for initiatives and programs that support and further the culture at your workplace. Culture-building is a new challenge as more professional environments go remote. But doing what you can to assist shows that you’re a team player — and that you have leadership potential!
Talk with your management team about what cultural enhancement programs are underway in your workplace. There are so many ways to learn valuable workplace lessons. Make that a part of your experience.
A remote or hybrid role is about finding balance. Enjoy your colleagues and your professional culture while also contributing and building that culture. Remember, being a remote employee doesn’t limit your ambitions or potential with your employer. So, keep raising your hand and volunteering for the culture-building work that bolsters your resume and your workplace satisfaction.
Find a Role You Love
Having a remote or hybrid role is an exciting opportunity. It’s about flexibility and trust. It gives you the chance to truly own your role. However, succeeding in a remote position doesn't always come down to your work ethic. It's just as important to have leadership on your side!