Positioning Oneself in a Virtual Work Environment

In support of national efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, most workplaces have transitioned to virtual, work from home settings. Have you thought about what this could mean for your career?

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How Does this Impact Your Career?

After the pandemic is over, it is likely workplaces will be much more varied. Mixes of working in an office, from home, and shared workspaces will become commonplace. Many businesses are struggling, and “rules” of working with others on a virtual basis are perhaps not yet established. One thing is certain, distressed firms will be looking to reduce costs. It can also be expected that working environments will change. The current situation may be a great opportunity to demonstrate, and then later negotiate, a more favorable life/work balance. An employee’s value must be obvious and the benefits of being able to work from home clear. How do these changes affect your ability to get ahead? Read on for tips about positioning oneself in a virtual work environment.

Producing Results Will Be Number One, Though Relationships Also Count

Some of you may be seasoned at working from home, working frequently with colleagues in other states and countries. You probably already know in virtual work settings, employees are often judged more on performance and results.  There are fewer opportunities to make in-person impressions and connections. The ability to produce great results is of most importance. With that being said, the ability to nurture authentic relationships through virtual channels will be of increasing importance.

Nurturing Virtual Relationships

Here are some tips to deepen virtual relationships and position oneself as an invaluable employee while working from home.

  • Remember that a virtual call is still a business meeting. If you are using a video platform, ensure your work space projects a professional image. Family photos are often too personal, and clutter may be  distracting. Remove anything from the background that is too personal.
  • Weekly calls with a supervisor are important for building a stronger relationship. Calls can assist in clarifying weekly objectives, provide an opportunity to ask for feedback, and spotlight your progress and achievements.
  • Aside from your supervisor, try to speak with others one on one. This provides an opportunity to share ideas, and create a sense of camaraderie.  Information about what’s happening within the company may also be learned, which could be valuable for job preservation and/or promotion.
  • During calls, whether via phone or video conference, take notes on contributions from each individual. This provides a clearer sense of where other people’s focuses are, and who might be willing to assist with specific projects.
  • Send a personalized, complimentary email to those whose ideas you found to be of value after the meeting. Commenting on the topic can start a conversation.
  • Send follow up emails with relevant articles to attendees as a way to connect and add value.

Create Value Now

There are still many unknowns about how the coronavirus will affect our future workplaces. Knowing how to be savvy while working from home can help to safeguard one’s position during this time of economic uncertainty. It is important to reinforce authentic and valuable relationships with colleagues and coworkers, and critical to think about positioning oneself in a virtual work environment.

Are you currently working from home? How has the coronavirus pandemic changed your workplace environment?

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