Just because you’re now working from home doesn’t mean you can’t convey to your boss that you’re a dependable employee. Different managers have different expectations, but everyone can have baseline best-practices they can use to shine.
So how do you convey to your boss that you’re doing a good job when working from home? The New York Times presented a few rules-of-thumb for staff aiming for a glowing performance review.
- Paddle in the same direction – Review your workload with your managers to make sure the goals align.
- Be sure of “what, how and by when” – Gather all the necessary details around a project. The 5Ws and how.
- Adapt to your manager’s style – Deliver your work in the way your manager prefers. Actively ask questions about style and format. Similarly, managers need to actively give constructive feedback.
- Do it before being asked – Predict where the next bottleneck may lie and try to remedy it before it happens. Still, when the situation is unclear, make sure to ask. Predictive productivity is important but it’s meaningless if the prediction is incorrect.
- Bring recommendations – When asking questions, make sure to briefly explain the options you’ve already tried or considered. No one likes a broad question without a lead.
- No surprises – Don’t save the bad news for a good day. The best day to tell is today.
- Build trust – Don’t make your managers track you down for work. Set an expectation and stick to it. If there’s a hiccup, let them know immediately. No surprises.
- Help your manager help you – Offer to take some work off of your plate, but only if you’re able! Also, ground yourself to your role, don’t take on excessively higher level work without more pay.
- Help the team – Empathy powers the world. Your boss is human, your co-workers are human, so a little “how are you doing?” can go a long way.
- Understand that your boss may be stressed – Elaborating on the previous point, if your boss suddenly becomes aloof or hard to reach, understand that they’re facing stress like everyone else. This, of course, applies to a manager’s perspective as well.
- Changing negative behaviour – Respectfully and dispassionately point out bad management behaviours such as vague emails, drastic changes in schedules, and so on. Calmly work towards a solution and never get personal.