Many American workers accomplish at least some of their work tasks remotely. Working remotely has many advantages, but it also has unique challenges. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that remote workers feel “shunned” and “left out” when it comes to office politics. If you work remotely, what can you do to still feel part of your organization?
1) Take the initiative to communicate with your team. Just because you have a remote desk doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of your team or department. Many teams use apps such as Slack to keep in touch. If your team currently doesn’t have a set way to stay in touch, take the initiative to research some options that would work for your team’s needs. Then, determine an implementation plan for using it and how it would not only benefit yourself but everyone else on the team. Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your research and your plan.
If your team already has a way to keep in touch, ask yourself how often you reach out to your teammates? Just as you would have small breaks throughout the day at an office to chat with your coworkers, schedule a few small breaks to reach out to your coworkers for a chat. You may also find it practical to offer meeting for lunch or drinks after work from time to time. Taking the initiative will strengthen your work relationships and help you feel more like a part of your organization.
If after taking the initiative to reach out you are still struggling to connect with your coworkers, consider our free presentation, “Dealing With Difficult Coworkers or Employees” to learn how to better manage professional relationships.
2) Set goals for yourself. If you are working remotely, then you most likely are able to accomplish your tasks without needing constant supervision. This means that you will need to foment some of your own personal growth on the job. Analyze the tasks you currently are in charge of and determine if there is a way to be more efficient or use a different method to enhance your skill set.
You could also reach out to your manager and ask if they have any feedback about your work. Ask them if there are any other tasks that you could handle remotely. You may find it helpful to compile a list of tasks that you think you could handle and ask for a trial run of the new tasks. This would allow you to take on more responsibilities and continue to grow in the organization.