As a remote worker, it isn’t always easy to show that you’re productive and invested in your daily duties. Follow our tips to show your employee value from home.
Right now, many of us find ourselves taking part in a widespread work from home experiment. For some employees, this may be something they always wished they were able to do (minus the virus pandemic), and for others, they may be counting down the days until they can get back into their office!
Whichever category you fall into, remote working on such a large scale is new for all of us, and it can be hard to know how to show your value when there is no one around to see your hard work or how many hours you are putting in.
You may want to show your value to prove working from home is productive and could be a long-term solution. You may feel that you need to show your employee value so that when your company is looking back at this time to those who went the extra mile, you are one of them!
Regardless of why you want to highlight your value, here are a few things you can to make sure your contributions don’t go unnoticed.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Yes, the video chats and the phone calls may be getting exhausting, but communication is vital to the smooth running of a team, and even more important when those team members are working separately from each other. It is important to keep managers and teammates updated on what you are doing, where you are in a project, a new client you have spoken to, etc.
In addition, consider managing expectations from the start by responding to requests by saying, “I received your email and will start working on this tomorrow afternoon” or “Thank you for the reminder, this will be ready by Friday.” This allows your team to know when to expect something without adding extra stress to you by following up.
Be careful, though, as communication for the sake of it can harm your workflow, your team’s workflow, and the overall credibility of what you are communicating. Maybe schedule a time for co-worker coffees to keep catch-ups separate from work updates. It’s good to stay social and maintain relationships with those we once saw every day!
This need for communication works both ways too; you need to be available for those who need to come to you, as well as you communicating with others.
In an office environment, it may be evident when someone is struggling with a particular task, and you could step in to help or if you had an idea to share, you could quickly turn to a co-worker and blurt it out. Working remotely hinders that type of collaboration, so it’s essential to include that into our workdays as it won’t be easily seen. Speak up and share your ideas in team meetings and offer ways you could help with something! If that is too daunting, think about it for a while and then share it with your manager or another teammate directly.
On the flip side of this, you can also ask for help if your workload is too much. It may be a chance to show you can successfully delegate or project manage, but it will also prevent you taking on projects with deadlines that you cannot meet and will also allow you to focus on tasks that you can do a great job on, showing your worth in specific areas.
Leading on from above, don’t be afraid to get involved with other projects where you can, especially if your workload has lightened a bit. It is a great way to show your variety of interests and your ability to take on new tasks. Even if your workload has tripled as you are now a teacher as well as a full-time employee, register your interest in projects but be open about the level of commitment that you could realistically give. Even if you can just share some ideas verbally, your contribution will be appreciated.
Trust me, I get it, no one would be able to see if you didn’t get out of bed on time or if you played the PlayStation while on your Zoom call, but who is that helping? It’s definitely not helping yourself. With no co-workers or supervisors around to keep us accountable, it is time to do that for yourself.
There are a lot of ways you can do this, but you need to find what works best for you. You could write a task list or use productivity trackers such as Microsoft Planner, just make sure you stick to it as much as possible and keep yourself on track to reach deadlines. If that method isn’t working well anymore, change it!
If you are like me, it may take a while to find what works for you. I researched a lot into why I couldn’t stay focused while working from home (I don’t even have kids!), and one suggestion that helped me was to schedule in your distractions rather than your work times.
Example: 8:30 am Start workday | 10:30 am Make a cup of tea/coffee and clean up after breakfast | 12:00 pm Go outside for a short walk | 3 pm Stretch and write three things I am grateful for.
I found this beneficial and much more effective as I was more likely to stay focused in the ‘work’ periods knowing that I had a ‘distraction’ break coming up soon.
Employee Value Key Takeaway
Life is very different right now, not only are we adapting to a ‘new normal’ but there are financial and health worries, along with many other things. Maximising productivity and value may not be on the top of your list, and it doesn’t have to be, but using this time to recognize and highlight your employee value will be invaluable to both you and your company.
If you wish to read more about employee value, you can read the Employee Value Curve here.