Most workplaces have two sets of rules. The first is easy to explore as it is typically outlined in formal policies and procedures. The second is often trickier, based on informal expectations and cultural standards.
Unwritten rules are usually learned through experience. Employees figure them out over time, both based on the reactions to their own choices and through observing others. However, remote employees don’t have the same level of exposure, so getting a feel for the unwritten rules is often more challenging.
Luckily, certain unwritten rules are practically universal. By understanding them, you can avoid actions that may harm your career as a remote worker. If you want to make sure you don’t make a mistake, here are a few things to avoid.
Avoid Multitasking During Meetings
When you are part of a conference call that doesn’t feel particularly relevant, you might be tempted to handle other tasks while you halfway listen. However, multitasking isn’t something the majority of people can do, so you end up losing focus on the conversation that is occurring. Then, if your input is required, you have to shift your attention to the discussion, and you probably missed a few key details before you do, decreasing the odds your insight will be as valuable as it could be.
Additionally, if your co-workers or manager can see or hear you typing away, that isn’t going to make a great impression. You’ll look or sound distracted and disengaged, which isn’t going to win you any fans.
Watch Out for Spillover
When a conference call seemingly comes to an end, jumping off right away may seem like a good idea. However, it is usually best to be prepared to hang on for a few more minutes, as you never know when someone may chime in at the last possible second, causing the conversation to continue. If your co-workers don’t realize you are gone, they might not know you missed something important.
If you can’t stay connected, it is wise to follow up with another attendee to make sure no new decisions were made after the initial end of the meeting. That way, you can ensure you are fully up to speed.
Be Consistent and Predictable
Many managers are still hesitant to trust remote employees. The worry you might slack off is hard to shake, and it usually takes time to earn your boss’s trust.
You can expedite the process a bit by being consistent and predictable. For example, set core work hours so people know when you are available and give your manager insight into the tasks you are working on and when deliverables can be expected. Then, maintain the schedule and strive to meet or exceed expectations. This will help you build trust more quickly, which benefits not only you but your boss as well.
Ultimately, all three of the unwritten rules above can help you become more successful in your remote role. If you’d like to learn more, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our skilled team today and see how our remote work expertise can benefit you.