There appears to be two facts about working remotely:
- It’s new to many people and far different from working in an office
- Working remotely is here to stay for a while, and maybe for a very long time
So, how do you improve your performance and potentially advance your career?
Here are some ideas:
- Confirm with your supervisor the expectations for performance – What is expected of you? If you don’t understand or are different from what your boss expects, your performance will suffer. Items like performance standards, meeting times and participation, individual/team goals, updates and time-lines to name a few.
- How to identify and problem solve issues – Different supervisors work in different ways. Do you identify and solve problems on your own or notify the boss before a meeting? Should you bring problems up during meetings? Does the boss want alternative solutions? How are decisions made?
- Balancing the work load – Work is never at a consistent level. It moves at an erratic pace. When the work load is heavy and may affect due dates or performance, let your supervisor know. On the other hand, when the work load is light, take on more responsibility. Your boss will appreciate your volunteering to step in to help out.
- Connect more effectively with the boss – Rather than wait for the group/team meeting, drop the boss a note on items for discussion, either positive or negative. If something goes very well or helpful, acknowledge with a compliment. If something doesn’t go well, suggest an alternative or potential solution rather than a criticism
- Individually connect with your team members – Talk with each team member to find out how you can best work with each one. Are they more comfortable with some technologies and not others? How can you best support each other?
- Make sure you are a contributing member of the “team” – Be supportive and collaborative with your team members. Help out when asked or make positive suggestions that will assist them, especially anyone who is struggling. A supervisor is measured by the performance of the group, not on your performance only.
- Be flexible with different work styles – A supervisor may be demanding and stressed at one point, then engaging and openly participative at another time. You may not understand the pressures on the boss. You can help by responding in a positive way to the changing style and environment of the situation.
- Ask about communications “rules” – Find out how the supervisor and work group communicates: Emails for reports? Conversations for coordination? Meetings for updates? Texts for immediate issues? Schedule specific days and times for team meetings. How often? How does the agenda get set? How are goals, objectives, time-lines, benchmarks and updates get established?
Every remote work group has a different flow and rhythm. Your performance will be partially dependent on your ability to understand and execute your role within the expectations, operating guidelines and procedures.
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