How to Advance Your Career as a Remote Employee

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As more companies push for employees to physically return to the office, many of us are still working remotely, at least part-time. Working in isolation can make it difficult to fit in and climb the ranks. It’s harder to stay on top of things, and this can create a proximity bias when it comes to career advancement and securing that promotion. That means you need to take action to ensure your professional development isn’t stalled by working from home or the hybrid regime. Here are five strategies to stay visible.

1. Never give up office altogether

Your company might not require come to the office, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come at all. Find reasons for your bosses and colleagues to see your face. Plan a face-to-face monthly conversation with your boss or a lunch with colleagues. You can also simply choose a day once or twice a month to simply go to the office and work there instead of working from home. This will prevent people from forgetting you and will keep you up to date on everything going on in your department and company that may not be passed through a formal announcement. It keeps you up to date with news from the office.

After Covid-19, some companies have given up their physical offices altogether. If you don’t have an office, be proactive and set up a meeting with colleagues who live nearby. The meeting could take place over a meal or perhaps at a joint activity like a morning volunteering with a local organization.

Related: Why Proximity Bias Keeps Executives from Excelling in the Age of Hybrid and Remote Work

2. Update your managers

It is crucial that you have regular remote status meetings with your managers. If your boss doesn’t set this up themselves with you as a remote worker, you should take the initiative to set this up yourself. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but you do need to have virtual facetime to share your progress on your projects, inquire about plum jobs or projects you want to champion, and remind your boss of your accomplishments. Also, make sure to document your achievements for this year in review. Don’t assume that your boss will remember all of your successes in terms of raises and promotions.

Related: Remote work is here to stay: are you ready for the new way of life?

3. Take advantage of opportunities in virtual meetings

When you’re remote, you no longer have those random “water cooler” conversations. Make sure you register for virtual team meetings early so that when people register you can have a little small talk with your co-workers about non-work related topics. If possible, ask if someone can stay at the end of the meeting to chat with you. Asking for advice or input on a project you’re working on. This can help you with innovative ideas and solutions, and has the added benefit of making others feel needed and included by asking for their advice.

4. Create your own connectivity

If you’re onsite but still a remote worker, ask one of your co-workers to have lunch or breakfast in person. Consider hosting a group event at your home to help you stay connected with your co-workers. If you’re geographically far from your physical office in another part of the country, schedule a virtual one-on-one meeting with someone in your department or another department once a week to further expand your in-house network. Additionally, if you are traveling and are near a physical office of your company, use this as an opportunity to schedule a face-to-face meeting.

Remote: Planning an offsite business? So make sure it’s inclusive.

5. supporters of personal development

Staying abreast of innovations in your industry is critical to your professional development. While there are still opportunities for online webinars and conferences, you should negotiate an in-person conference or two each year to stay current and connected. It’s also a great idea to negotiate the joining of one or two industry-related organizations. Even if you’re working from home, it’s helpful to hold a monthly in-person event where you meet industry peers. In these types of professional development meetings, your next opportunity is likely to be a new client, supplier, speaking engagement, or even a new job altogether.

With the changing professional climate post-pandemic, you need to be more creative and conscious to advance your own career. Make sure you use these strategies to be remembered and ask for opportunities to grow and connect instead of waiting for those opportunities to come your way.

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