4 Tips to Succeed In Remote Work
Remote work can be a big change from a centralized, physical-office setting. Clipboard Health has been fully remote since day one, and we have learned a lot about the benefits (and potential pitfalls) of remote work. From those learnings, we’ve identified four ways you can proactively set yourself up for success in a remote role.
Don’t be an invisible work machine. Be an individual.
If you work in a physical office, people generally know who you are because they see you at your desk, in meetings, or in the hallway. Remote environments change that. It’s possible to do most of your work invisibly, in a way nobody sees.
The quality of your work still speaks for you, but who you are can get lost in the shuffle. And when it’s time for the company to assign projects or give promotions, you don’t want to be an invisible work machine instead of a unique individual. You want them to know your strengths, contributions, and aspirations. What does this mean in a practical sense? Contribute to meetings by speaking up and asking questions.
You don’t necessarily have to turn on your camera if you like to multitask on mute, but take strategic opportunities to show up on camera and gain true face time. (Clipboard is a “cameras-on” company for all meetings.) Develop individual relationships across the company, whether through Slack, Zoom, or other means.
The payoff of this extra effort is being understood and valued as an individual instead of a function and is more than worth it.
Actively pursue opportunities to grow and don’t let yourself stagnate.
Convenience and comfort are two perks of remote work. Your morning commute is 10 steps down the hall, you can eat in your own kitchen, and wear (almost) whatever you want. But comfort can encourage complacency. Maintaining some of the more useful rituals of professional etiquette (maintaining a professional appearance and a clean, organized work environment) can ensure that you meet a high level of excellence working from home.
In a remote role, you need to be proactive with how you pursue career development, so you don’t stagnate.
First, actively seek opportunities to network with people across your company. That means you need to start conversations, identify people who have something to teach you, and seek to build relationships. Advocate for yourself in your career. Look for learning opportunities through traditional education, conferences, or organizations related to your career focus. Share your desire to learn with your manager, so they know what career growth you want to pursue. Take an active look at the ways you currently pursue career growth now, and how you can continue that momentum in remote work life.
Every remote company is different, so ask the important questions.
What kind of remote environment are you looking for? Some companies are hybrid, with remote and in-office workers. Others, like Clipboard Health, are fully remote. Some companies are ultimately planning on a return to the office, while others were founded with no physical office.
The type of environment also drives tools. For instance, a hybrid company uses tools that work remotely and in person. Where a fully remote company can pick the tools they use (and the people they hire!) based on how well they work remotely.
Consider what type of environment is best for you: Do you want something professional or more casual? Ask how they generally conduct meetings: Is it a lot of video calls? Ask how the company communicates: Do people mostly email or contact each other through a chat program? How do they manage projects? How do schedules work for a global team? All of these things matter.
Finally, make sure you ask what the company is doing to become better and more efficient about remote work. Clipboard Health spends an enormous amount of effort learning ways to be faster, more welcoming, and just generally a better place to work. If you ask this question and a potential employer doesn’t have an answer, take it as a warning sign.
Make sure you ask about growth opportunities.
Clipboard Health hires all over the world. We often talk to people who are looking for new career opportunities based on limitations within their current role, and those conversations have given us some interesting insights.
A theme we’ve heard is a high-performing individual looking for advancement only to find that the best opportunities are reserved for people who work in the office or live in the same country as headquarters. Not every company is like this, of course. So it’s important to find out what kind of company your future employer is and if advancements are available to you.
Ask questions about the company’s track record with remote employees. We were asked this by a candidate and happily shared that we had recently promoted team members in Ghana and Madagascar to management positions. If a company hires globally and promotes based on the work people do rather than their location, they should have examples to share.
Remote work is the future, and with these tips in mind, you’ll be set up for success while pursuing your remote career.
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