There are many advantages to working at home, but there’s at least one drawback. Telecommuters are 50% less likely to get promoted, according to a Stanford University study. Other research suggests that this is due to the assumptions your colleagues make when they don’t see you around the office on a regular basis.
If you want to wear your bunny slippers while you move ahead, study these tips. You’ll learn how to raise your visibility and demonstrate your reliability.
How to Increase Your Face Time
Management experts believe that passive face time plays a big part in how your colleagues view you. Just seeing you around tends to create an impression that you’re a committed team player. You may need to make an extra effort if you work remotely.
- Attend meetings. Show up for weekly staff meetings even if your presence isn’t required. Find out when clients are coming to the office so you can be available to sit in or help out. Schedule regular check-in sessions with your boss.
- Participate in social events. Mingle at holiday and birthday celebrations. Introduce yourself to new hires and catch up with former office mates.
- Throw a party. Host your own gathering. Invite your co-workers to your house for a cocktail party. Bring in lasagna and treat the whole office or your department to lunch.
- Travel together. Business trips are an ideal way to bond. See if you can catch the same flight as your colleagues and invite them to share a meal.
- Volunteer as a group. Support a worthy cause while you network. Maybe your employer coordinates visits to a local food bank or homebuilding project. Ask about starting a service program if there’s nothing in place already.
- Join a committee. Serving on a committee is an excellent way to strengthen your relationships and expand your experience. Help plan the next conference or reduce energy consumption.
- Share photos. Pictures often have more impact than words. Send your boss engaging photos of you visiting project sites or talking with happy customers.
How to Prove Your Reliability
That Stanford study also found that employees who work at home are happier and more productive. The facts are on your side. You just need to let your colleagues know what you’re doing.
- Post your hours. Share your personal office hours. That way your colleagues will know the best time to contact you if they need an immediate response.
- Meet deadlines. Develop a reputation for punctuality. Turn in your assignments on time, especially if other employees need you to respond so they can stay on track.
- Exceed expectations. Your boss will be less likely to wonder if you’re watching Netflix if you consistently deliver excellence. Clarify her priorities so you can focus your efforts.
- Track accomplishments. It’s even more important to keep detailed records if you work independently much of the time. Take the last few minutes of the day to jot down your achievements. Tell your boss about your success stories.
- Prepare for evaluations. If possible, encourage your employer to base performance evaluations on objective outcomes. Present your accomplishments and suggest any broader issues you want to discuss.
Creating more face time while you show your boss you’re indispensable is a great first step. However, remember that it’s also important to ask for what you want, whether that’s a raise or a new position. Put it all together and you’ll be well on your way to a successful career while you work at home.