Working remotely has its pros and cons. Flexible work hours, no commute times, and low overhead are all reasons why so many individuals choose this work life. However not being present at the office can also have its drawbacks.
Think about all the interactions and communication you’ll miss when working out of the office. While they may seem insignificant it can really take a toll on overall engagement.
If you’re working remotely here’s how you can stay engaged without moving back to the office.
Daily Standup Meetings
Depending on your company’s workflow this may be a bit excessive. A standup meeting is a short 10 to 15-minute meeting where team members discuss progress on previous objectives and set new ones. This keeps everyone on track and productive. If you’re working remotely this gives you the opportunity to connect with the team every single day.
If you choose to host daily standup meetings make sure you schedule them for the mornings. In addition, you need to be sure to limit them to 10 to 15 minutes as they can drag on if you aren’t disciplined.
Pro tip: If possible suggest to have your standup meetings using a video call. Body language is a huge part of communication. If you are taking all your meetings from the phone you’re missing out on that key interaction.
One of the biggest issues with working remotely is that your boss or other colleagues don’t actually get to see you working. Unfortunately that means you often need to go the extra mile in order to get their attention.
If you have the opportunity you should always volunteer for new projects when you can. If possible try to volunteer for a project working with another team or department. The more you can connect with others in the company the more engaged you will feel in the long run.
Address Any Issue Immediately
Whether they’re saying good or bad things it’s common for remote workers to think their colleagues are speaking about them behind their backs. If they are commemorating your success great. However, if they have an issue with you or your work it can become an issue very quickly.
The longer an issue lingers the more opportunities your colleagues have to make assumptions and foster negative thoughts. Since you don’t have the opportunity to have face to face time it makes it difficult to engage. That said you need to act fast and address and resolve any open issues you have with others.
Make Frequent Office Visits
People choose to work remotely for various reasons. If your company has a designated headquarters and you plan to stay long term I typically recommend you make an effort to work at the office. But again, people have their reasons and that’s okay.
If you do choose to work remotely you should make an effort to make frequent office visits. Make an effort to visit on important occasions where you have an opportunity to provide added value.
For example, if you work on the marketing team you should always try to be present for hands-on marketing meetings. I recommend trying to make it to the office at least once a month. It’ll keep you engaged and connected with the rest of your firm.
Working remotely can be very convenient. That convenience however comes at a cost. If you aren’t able to have face to face time with your coworkers it’s more difficult to engage it’s that simple. If you work remotely and you plan on keeping it that way use the advice above to stay engaged with the rest of your team.
Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.