Working remotely has a lot of benefits—you don’t have to wear pants, you save on commuting costs, you have more hours in your day that aren’t killed in a commute—but one big drawback: You don’t have face time with your boss, so working remotely has the potential of costing you promotions or new opportunities. Why? That whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing. Believe it or not, just being there makes a big difference.
The good news is, there are ways to get around that. Here are a few tips on how to work remotely while still making an amazing impression on the higher ups.
Sure, you can email and IM easily, and you probably do. But there’s a greater level of familiarity, intimacy and interpersonal communication that comes from actually hearing your voice. A lot of people never bother with this move, which is why it’s so impactful when people do. Even if it’s only once a week, check in by phone and knock their socks off with your candor, charm and ebullience.
Check in regularly.
Give frequent updates, whether over email or IM, on your progress. A good way to do this? If you have a project with a particularly intriguing part, dish on that: “I noticed in our client report that the average age of our customers went from 34 to 27 years old. I have XYZ ideas on how to appeal to that slightly younger market.”
Never miss a deadline.
Part of why some bosses are reluctant to let employees work remotely is that they assume if workers don’t have supervisors around to look over at them occasionally, they’ll just slack off and be lazy. Don’t prove them right, or you’ll ruin not just your situation, but everyone else’s too.
Connect on social media.
This one depends on your individual situation: If you and your boss are friendly, a Twitter or Instagram follow can be a good way to bond on a more personal level. If you’re more formal, a LinkedIn invitation can be a way to find out where they went to school or where else they worked before this, so you can chat about those, too.
Visit in person.
At least every once in a while. And look fabulous when you do. Not an option (like if your company is overseas)? Dress up, doll up, and call in on Skype. (Just make sure your apartment is clean and you’re at an actual desk or table, not in a messy bed, when you call.)