Quite a few companies compelled their staff members to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if you started working from home last year, hopefully, you’re used to it by now.
After getting over the initial change, there’s still a lot to re-think with respect to professionalism in a remote work situation. In traditional work environments, productivity can be gauged by physical presence. In a remote work environment, productivity is gauged more by results. Remote workers should be mindful of this and intentional about being professional in a virtual setting.
If you’re looking to step up your professionalism in a remote work setting, consider these tips.
Maintain Strong Lines of Communication
It’s usually not a good idea to leave people hanging in a traditional workplace, and it’s even more important in a virtual environment. While you don’t have to reply to every message and email as soon as possible, you should set aside a few blocks of time during your day to maintain good communication.
Also, it’s a good idea to talk with others about their preferred way to communicate. Some may prefer email, while others like phone calls. Try to respect and adhere to what works best for each individual.
Stick to a Schedule
Make an effort to schedule meetings within recognized working hours. When possible, stay away from booking “lunchtime meetings,” especially consulting potential attendees in advance. Some people might need their scheduled lunchtime to look after children or other family members.
Look the Part
Just as it does in person, your appearance sends a strong message to the folks you work with, even when they are on the other side of a screen. If you want to maintain your credibility, you should continue to present yourself in a professional manner.
For virtual meetings, your grooming, clothes, and background all matter. Ratty hair, a mustard-stained hoodie, and piles of laundry behind you aren’t going to impress anyone. Make an effort to look put together and keep your work area clean.
Maintain a Workday Routine
When you are deliberate about your working hours and maintain a workday routine, it goes a long way to maintaining professionalism. Sure, you could spend the whole day in sweatpants and take hour-long breaks that stretch out the day. However, it makes it much more difficult to get into the mental rhythm that will fuel your productivity.
Avoid Contentious Topics on Team Calls
During business meetings, contentious subjects often come up, and as we all know, it’s easy for things to get heated in a virtual environment. A better approach is to compartmentalize tough conversations as much as possible, saving them for personal phone calls instead.
Maintain Your Online Presence
Professionalism in a remote work situation isn’t just for your internal meetings and routines. Your online presence should be a key part of your career development, and with everything going even more online, maintaining your LinkedIn profile and online portfolio is more important than ever.
We Can Help Keep Your Career On Track
Don’t let COVID-19 completely throw off your career momentum! If you are currently looking for career assistance, please contact Career Concepts to find out how we can help during these tough times.