How to stay visible when you are WFH
Today, it is a rainy, dark, cold, winter day and I am working from home as we are currently going under a second lockdown. Looking outside the window I smile thinking how this past year our lives have changed.
It was a few minutes ago that I completed my zoom call with the VP of a big company looking to seal a promising deal. We will have a follow up meeting next week to check the details of the agreement.
Tomorrow, I have a zoom call with the members of our office team. Checking upon one another, discussing things that need to get done, evaluating where we stand and what we need to achieve. But above all communicating, keeping in touch, keeping the team spirit alive and kicking.
Although we are at home, operations run smoothly and in a miraculously fast way we all adapted to the new reality. The new virtual reality which came and it will stay and has made our lives easier but at the same time more difficult as nothing can replace physical presence, the shake of hands closing a deal while looking the other person straight in the eye.
We need to make the most out of this situation though and that is why I am sharing with you some ideas on how to stay visible at your office while you are working from home.
Communicate every single day!
If you are not going to the office these days, it does not mean that communication is closed for you and your team, let along with your boss. Make sure to communicate with your team via email or even by creating a group chat on your phone where you can exchange information must faster and show your presence.
Schedule regular check-ins!
Schedule meetings with your manager in advance. This is very crucial so as to keep the information coming in while the person in charge of you, knows exactly what is happening. Scheduled e-meetings will give you and your boss or teammates to brainstorm and generate more work and more projects.
People always feel good when you show up and ask them for advice. Do dare and ask questions about topics that concern you. You never know where those questions may lead. People answering your questions feel good about themselves while your question may be the reason, they have an online communication with a person during their day. Do not forget that many of your colleagues may be living alone.
Using either Teams, Zoom or Miro and Mural make sure you use those tools correctly. If you are not sure on how to use them, then contact your IT department and ask for guidance. A mini tutorial might work wonders. In case you do not have an IT guy available at work, there are hundreds of videos on You Tube on how to use the features of the virtual tools provided. Just, take a deep breath and make your research! Technology is not that scary, most of the times!
Not in a bad way but in a positive kind of ‘I am here, I am doing my job, I am working from home and ticking all the boxes on my to do list!’ way. Becoming your own best advocate in the workplace is important. And during these difficult times, sharing your successes is vital. It is what will inspire others and keep your team motivated while passing the message that we can still do it, pandemic or no pandemic, lockdown or no lockdown.
Surely, after a long week at work the last thing you want is to have an online work book club, or an online work drinks club. As tired as you may be talking and tapping all day long in front of a screen, do take those 20 minutes to speak with your colleagues about a book your read recently or a movie you watched while having a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine. This may start a tradition which after we all get back to the office may continue in the form of coffee dates, drinks or dinners after work on Fridays. Try it and you will see that getting social online with your colleagues is not that difficult!
Advancing these suggestions into habits will have a positive effect on you and others while an active bridge between home and office will be created. Pivoting the culture of work is about connecting everyone and making them feel part of the team especially nowadays.
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