Listening to clients over the last year, they’ve told me that:
- They’ve struggled to be visible when working remotely , they worried that they will experience proximity bias , the assumption that people are more productive in an office environment and that they work better when they are in close physical proximity to others with their managers in sight
- They’ve not been clear about where they stand in terms of their performance as there has been a lack of constructive feedback from line managers still adapting to managing remotely
- Their usual ways of demonstrating their value have fallen flat and not had the desired impact
The past year has seen unprecedented change for many of us, both in the work we do and how we do it.
Many businesses adapted to home working practically overnight, some also adapted to online delivery and others took the opportunity to start offering a new product or service to meet the needs of our changing lifestyles.
Hand in hand with this, the way we demonstrate our value at work has changed. I share my top tips for staying on top of your game and demonstrating your value at work in our ‘new normal’ world:
Be a Solution Provider
Whether it’s supply chain issues, budget cuts or how to reach customers from diverse backgrounds effectively, be aware of where your company is facing challenges and strive to seek out solutions.
Now more than ever there’s a real appetite for innovation and new ideas, and it’s a great way to demonstrate your value. If you have a contact who may be able to help, or you come up with an idea for saving money or bringing more diversity to a product or service then have the courage to speak up and share it.
The worst that can happen is that your idea won’t be taken forward but your employer is bound to welcome the suggestion. Check out our tips on how to become an ideas person.
Anticipate, Don’t Wait
On the plus side, remote working puts an end to micromanagement. However it does mean that you need to demonstrate your self-sufficiency, and also that you can look beyond the day to day for inevitable upcoming trends and changes. It’s important not to wait to be asked, but to be proactive.
We live in a world where we’re always busy and there’s never enough time, so if you notice that something needs to be done, try to take the initiative rather than waiting to be asked. Anything that saves others time and means that you can be relied upon to do more than what is asked of you will demonstrate your value. Your boss and team members will appreciate it.
A good place to start is:
- Looking up industry journals
- Reading newsletters about upcoming trends in your profession
- Networking with others in a similar field and learn ‘what’s new’ in their business.
Relentlessly Seek Improvements
A great tip on how to demonstrate your value when working remotely or from home is that you shouldn’t fear technology or automation. Instead find ways to use it to free up your time for what you bring that technology can’t.
Consider how you can improve processes, systems, policies, meetings, customer delight, your product, or service. When you do find and make improvements, don’t hold onto them for yourself, share them, you’ll be known as the person who created that improvement and that notoriety will go way beyond your immediate colleagues, and really demonstrate your value.
Remember even if improvement seems really small to you, if everyone starts doing it, the multiplication of the saving, efficiency, improvement could be huge!
Keep your skills up to date and be keen to learn new ones, particularly when it comes to tech. The pace of change is exponential, so your skills need to keep up.
Try subscribing to relevant blogs and social media feeds to keep your knowledge and skills up to date. This is particularly important when it comes to tech as it’ll give you new ideas that you can put to use in your everyday job.
Keep an eye out for webinars and you tube videos demonstrating new skills and software or tips using existing software more effectively and efficiently. If you are ready for change or skilled in what’s coming, you will be well placed to demonstrate your value immediately.
Here are a few ‘future of work’ newsletters that you might want to sign up to:
You can never communicate enough when working remotely, after all we’re missing those conversations over making a coffee or getting your lunch that we once took for granted.
Don’t assume that anyone knows or remembers what you are working on. Instead find ways to keep sharing and also share your successes. Some companies have a morning huddle, a weekly one to one, or use tools like yammer. Whatever you use, learn to maximise the potential of this communication, in other words get better at self-promotion. You may even want to create a monthly progress report for you or your team.
Read our 18 Tips to Improve your Communication Skills for some further tips.
What tips would you add on how to demonstrate your value when working remotely or working from home? We’d love to hear what is working for you.
Further resources for you:
- How to set boundaries when working from home
- Working From Home Versus Working Remotely: Which Is Right For You?
- Webinars on Effective Communication & Living with Change