When starting a position remotely, it can be challenging to learn the ropes and gain recognition from afar. Fortunately, professionals who are virtually onboarding can take several different approaches to ensure they make a good impression while still being physically isolated from their new team.
Like any good habit, standing out as a remote employee means finding a groove of communication and doing those practices consistently. This is different for every company and role; it involves a little extra investigation and experimentation to find what works. Which is why we crafted a list of ideas to help get you started.
How To Stand Out As A New Employee
As practices around remote work continue to develop, workers and employers should be introspective about the pros and cons of flexible working situations. Remote work can bring safety and greater flexibility that employees value highly, but it can also mean managers take a more hands-off approach with their teams. In this, some employees feel their hard work goes unnoticed, or is noticed less than when they worked in the office.
To combat this, managers and employees must develop “visibility strategies” that allow communication to flow in both directions. Neither managers nor employees should be entirely responsible for fueling this dynamic; the ideal situation is that it’s easy to ask questions, give feedback, or share accomplishments. In a recent survey on WFH, even though 96% of people said they believe remaining visible is key to career development, only 36% had a visibility strategy. Here’s 7 ways to build on your personal visibility strategy:
1) Ask For Definition Around Remote Expectations & Culture
- If the expectations of your new role are more loosely defined, it never hurts to seek additional clarification. Ask questions about what’s expected of your performance or if there are any KPIs associated with this. You can also ask your manager and other coworkers what the unspoken expectations of remote work look like, for example, when is it normal to sign off for the day? Are flexible work hours allowed or does the company focus on keeping work to a set window during the day?
2) Be A Proactive Problem Solver
- Being proactive revolves around thinking about future issues that have yet to arise. When starting a new job, this could mean having any information you need to fill out your onboarding documents ready, to making a fully fleshed out plan before solving an intricate software problem. Noting potential bumps in the road that may need to be addressed reveals your leadership skills, and managers will notice. Speaking up shows you are thorough and approach your work with a high attention to detail.
3) Experiment With Your Space & Workflow
- As many of us have learned since early 2020, it takes some experimentation to get in the groove of remote work. As you adapt to your new role, be patient in finding a new routine. While demonstrating what you are capable of when starting out is important, finding balance can prevent burnout later on. The idea is that you should be able to do work best work consistently, whatever that looks like to you.
4) Communication Combats Invisibility
- If you take away any one idea from this list, it’s that communication combats invisibility. Without a strategy for making yourself more visible, feelings of isolation and resentment can creep in. There are statistics to back this up. While working from home, women were twice more likely to say they’ve felt invisible at work. To make matters worse, only 38% had gone out of their way to be noticed while working from home. As we said before, it’s not just on you as an employee to get that recognition, but making it a habit to speak up or share your successes on a weekly or monthly basis drives your career forward.
5) Don’t Hold Back On New Ideas & Solutions
- Many of the companies we work with are creating wildly innovative products and platforms built for the future. In this, they are seeking leaders capable of driving new solutions and solving issues with out-of-the-box thinking. Often when our team is discussing with our clients what an ideal candidate has, the ability to come up with and communicate new ideas is a vastly desired trait. Similar to being a proactive problem solver, offering ideas shows you are engaged in the big picture of what you’re trying to create or resolve. From the same Joblist study, 54% of managers said offering new ideas improves your visibility.
6) Lend A Hand
- In yet another example of something to try, according to Forbes, 44% of managers agreed that helping your coworkers is a surefire way to get noticed. If you are still practicing advocating for yourself and celebrating your own wins, offering your time to lighten someone else’s load is an easier place to start that also nurtures your working relationships. On top of that interpersonal benefit of collaboration, you brand yourself as a reliable resource.
7) Set Goals For Remote Work
- In general, humans are more driven when we set goals for ourselves. Even if your goals are loosely defined in the beginning, it begins the process of ideating and picturing your future success if you actively work towards those goals. Collaborate with your manager or team on what these might look like for your role. Depending on your personal work preferences, it may benefit you to create both short and long-term goals, which helps define actions you can take daily, weekly, and monthly to forward your plan.
Focus On Growing New Connections
Finally, the most universal piece of advice we uncovered in our research was to consistently and openly connect with other people on your team. It can feel awkward or not as natural as in-person conversations, but the more you try, the easier it gets. Remember, others are in the same position of going about their day independently, while still needing social interaction and communication.
If you have other skills that aren’t being utilized, offer your help to others on your team or ask where you can fill another need that maybe was not in the original job description. Showing your flexible, eager, and available for communication on work related items and otherwise is the foundation of an effective visibility strategy. After all, “93% of managers had a favorable impression” of employees making an effort to stand out while working remotely.
Keep imposter syndrome at bay by following these steps to gain visibility at your new job. Prepare yourself mentally for a bit of struggle as you adapt to new systems and technologies, and remind yourself why you were offered this position in the first place. Growing pains don’t discriminate when it comes to virtual or in-person environments. We see this as an opportunity for candidates to show they are hungry and excited for what’s to come. If you’re looking for more resources on mastering remote work, visit our Ultimate Guide To Remote Work For Colorado Technologists resource.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!