Many industries are rapidly shifting remote work in response to public health concerns, and employees must quickly adapt to working from home and still hitting their goals. Those who are fortunate enough to work in an industry that isn’t at a standstill due to COVID-19 are undoubtedly asking lots of questions about their jobs and careers.
- Will my boss know how hard I’m working if we don’t share an office?
- Am I going to be productive working from home?
- How is this going to impact my career path?
Transitioning to work from home full-time, with little remote team management experience or systems in place, can be incredibly stressful for managers and employees.
Here are a few helpful suggestions for making yourself invaluable to your supervisor in this new environment, based on our own experience and from talking to customers.
Stay laser-focused on your goals
Your manager is up at night wondering whether their team will be successful in this new environment. They may be thinking: Will they hit their goals? Who needs help? How can I better support them?
Staying on top of your goals and key performance metrics is the first step. Communicate proactively when you are tracking or ahead of your goals. If you are behind, don’t hide it. Be transparent and proactive. Tell your manager what you are doing to address the gap and ask how they can help.
Take charge of your one-on-one meetings with your manager
Individual meetings with your manager take on greater importance when all you get is 30 minutes to connect through a videoconference. So come prepared.
Don’t spend your time on status updates. Focus on how you are contributing to top business priorities. Let your manager know that you are on top of your goals and their expectations. Use the meeting to get clarity on shifting priorities as businesses strive to become more responsive to market needs. At the end of that virtual meeting you want your manager to think you’ve got this. And if you have a question, you’ll ask.
One of Pathlight’s core values is “own it.” And at no other time is this tenet more critical than now. If there is an opportunity to step up and lead a project that needs a leader, volunteer. When you raise your hand to own projects—even if it is something you haven’t done before—you are showing that you are interested in developing your leadership skills and are committed to the success of the company. By taking something off of your manager’s plate and nailing the assignment, you are also building trust. So when an opportunity arises in the future and they’re looking at their team to pick a leader, you’re increasing the chances of your name being on the top of their list.
Alex Kvamme is the cofounder and CEO of Pathlight, a San Francisco-based team management software startup that gives teams, both remote and distributed, the power to manage their own performance.