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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 integrate into a company and move up the ladder. It’s harder to stay ahead, which can lead to proximity bias when it comes to career advancement and getting that promotion. This means that you need to be proactive in order to ensure that your professional development is not blocked due to working from home or the hybrid arrangement. Here are five strategies for staying visible.
1. Never give up the office completely
Your business may not require come to the office, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come in at all. Find reasons for your superiors and colleagues to see your face. Schedule an ongoing monthly in-person meeting with your boss or lunch with co-workers. You can also choose a day once or twice a month to just go to the office and work there rather than in your home office. This will prevent people from forgetting about you and will keep you up to date with anything happening with your service and business that cannot be relayed through an official announcement. He will keep you up to date with office news.
After Covid-19, some companies completely abandoned their physical offices. If you don’t have an office, be proactive and arrange a meeting with colleagues who live nearby. The meeting can be over a meal, or perhaps an activity together like a morning of volunteering with a local organization.
Related: Why proximity bias is preventing leaders from excelling in the age of hybrid and remote working
2. Update your superiors
It is crucial that you have regular remote status meetings with your superiors. If it’s not something your boss sets up with you as a remote employee, you should take the initiative to set it up yourself. It doesn’t have to be long or complex, but you should have virtual facetime to share your progress on your projects, learn about plum missions or projects you might want to champion, and remind your boss your accomplishments. Also, be sure to document your accomplishments for that year-end review. Don’t assume your boss will remember all of your successes with raises and promotions.
Related: Remote work is here to stay: are you ready for the new way of life?
3. Take advantage of virtual meeting opportunities
If you’re remote, you no longer have those casual “water cooler” conversations. Be sure to sign up for virtual team meetings early so that when people tune in, you can have a little chat with your colleagues about non-work related topics. If possible, ask if someone can stay after the meeting to chat with you. Ask for advice or feedback on a project you’re working on right now. It 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 connection opportunities
If you’re local but still a remote employee, ask one of your co-workers for lunch or breakfast in person. Consider hosting a group event at your home to help you stay in touch with your colleagues. If you are geographically distant from the physical office in another part of the country, schedule a virtual one-on-one once a week with someone from your department or a different department to continue building your intra-company network. Also, if you are traveling and will be near a physical office of your company, take the opportunity to schedule an in-person meeting.
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5. In-person Professional Development Advocate
Keeping abreast of innovations in your industry is crucial for your professional development. While there are still opportunities for webinars and online conferences, you should bargain for one or two in-person conferences every year to stay up to date and stay connected. Negotiating one or two industry-related organizations to join is also a great idea. Even if you work from home, it helps to have a monthly in-person event where you see industry colleagues. These types of professional development gatherings are likely where your next opportunity will be from a new client, vendor, gig, or even a new job.
With the changing post-pandemic work climate, you’ll need to be more creative and deliberate to advance your own career. Be sure to use these strategies to stay ahead and ask for opportunities for growth and connection, rather than waiting for those opportunities to come your way.