In the Age of WFH
Out of sight, out of mind? Not necessarily. However, in the age of WFH, the ways to make sure your boss knows you exist have changed. Since the criterion of showing up has become absent, employees need to find other ways to make sure their boss knows they exist (and bring value to the corporate table). Here’s how:
1. Do Sweat Over the Small Stuff
Back in the day, it was the norm to report on leaps in progress. Not so anymore. As work and the flow of corporate information has become more fragmented, employees should not wait to report on the big push. Instead, they should get into the habit of reporting on any push forward: big or small.
What can any employee do about it right now? Reach out to your boss and make an agreement to report on a daily basis. Agree upon the form and content of your daily reports. It can be as simple as a daily email before the end of the workday with the subject of the project you worked on and 1 sentence to describe the progress. For example, Subject: Researching the needs of client group X, email text: 195 calls made, main insight: not motivated by the sales message, more individualized approach needed.
2. KISS Your Boss
KISS is an acronym here, of course, which stands for Keeping It Short and Simple. If you start following advice #1, it is crucially important not to overwhelm your boss with information. And that’s where the KISS rule comes in. It is important to keep your communication short and simple. Remember: the idea is to “check in” rather than solve every problem in 1 email. If you have more to say, you should ask for a 10-minute video call.
What can any employee do about it right now? Chunk up the projects that you are working on into weekly plans and start reporting on the weekly plan daily. Hint: never report on the issues, instead, focus on the solutions. Even if you are not sure about the solution, it is still a better idea to focus on them rather than the problems.
3. Offer Unsolicited Advice
We were told not to offer unsolicited advice and not to speak unless we were asked. But in the age of WFH, it is bad advice. If you wait to be asked, you may never have the chance to speak and slowly become invisible. If you want to be seen, become proactive. Raise your hand, offer insights. Do not worry, if your advice will be taken, focus on being active instead.
What can any employee do about it right now? Get acquainted with your company’s objectives. Not your team’s, not your department’s, but your company’s. This should give you a better view of where you personally stand and thus make your unsolicited advice more viable. Remember: it is OK to offer ideas and help to any department. If you want to be seen, make yourself such. Hint: make sure you relate your unsolicited advice to your functions. This will make you look more cooperative and also help you do your own job better.
To sum up, it is in everyone’s best interest that all employees are heard and seen in a company. In order to do that in the age of WFH, you need to engage in tactics that work. “Checking in” often, following the KISS rule, and sharing insights beyond your direct duties are a few tactics that work.
Corporate Therapy deals with this and all other psychological corporate problems. Both: offline and online.