The Visibility Framework - Deepstash

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How To Be Professionally Visible And Valued As A Remote Worker

The Visibility Framework

Remote teams need consistent, inclusive interactions—but they need to be the right type, done in the correct way. This can be done in three ways.

  • Social visibility, where you foster positive personal connections and building relationships in work time.
  • Strategic visibility. Contributing ideas and advice on projects and having a say in business decisions.
  • Supportive visibility. Building team members up by recognizing and sharing their good work with others and creating equal opportunity situations.

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Assembling the Team

... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust....
Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

Processes

Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

A few examples from Zapier:

  • Weekly Hangouts;
  • Weekly One-on-Ones;
  • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
  • Automate anything that can be automated.
The challenges of hybrid teams
The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

...
Remote-friendly vs remote-first

The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.

  • Remote-friendly environment: Employees are allowed to work remotely, but work is not optimized for it. There is a disconnect between office and remote employees and team meetings exclusively occur in a co-located time zone. Water cooler chat is a space for key decisions and presence is correlated with meaningful work. Communication is synchronous-first. Managers must work in the office.
  • Remote-first companies: Employees are empowered to adopt remote work. Real-time meetings are kept to a minimum and recorded. Decisions are made online and performance is measured by output, not by hours worked. Communication is asynchronous-first. Managers are encouraged to work from home.
Connecting a remote-ish team

Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.

Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.

Communication during stressful times
Communication during stressful times

Uncertainty has a way to reveal everyone's strengths and weaknesses. During drastic uncertainty, employees will seek more information in order to achieve a sense of certainty. During this unsta...

Managing the passive communicators
  • Talk to them one-on-one. They will feel more comfortable opening up.
  • Offer multiple modes of communication. Instead of calling on them during a meeting, send them an email afterward.
  • Help them feel psychologically safe at work. Let your team know they won't face negative consequences for voicing their opinion respectfully.

Passive communicators battle to express their needs and stand by their convictions. This is because they want to avoid conflict. They may be silent during crucial meetings. If they do make a suggestion and it is challenged, they may say, "never mind then."

Managing the aggressive communicators
  • Outline and enforce boundaries. If they interrupt someone, step in and say, "Please let [Name} finish, and afterward, we'll give you time to speak too."
  • Give them a safe and healthy way to vent their anger. People under pressure are more likely to act out. Pull them aside for a one-on-one time to address their concerns.

Aggressive Communicators voice their opinions in a straightforward, often blunt way. They often interrupt others, take up significantly more time than others during meetings and don't take into account others' feelings or opinions.