Remote Workers Do Not Have to Be Invisible

Published Sunday, April 18, 2010 12:40 PM


Nomadic. Remote. Distant.

These are just a few of the words used to describe today's on-the-go workforce that calls places like airports, coffee shops and public libraries the office. The number of virtual workers has increased by 800% within the last five years and it is projected that mobile workers will make up 73% of the total U.S. workforce by 2011.

If you are in this tribe of nomadic workers - by choice or otherwise - you likely work away from your managers and co-workers much of the time. Despite this distance and disconnect (or, perhaps, because of it), it is important that your hard work and accomplishments get the notice they deserve.


Here are some tips to help you gain this much-needed visibility:


Check in informally. Whether by email, IM, phone, video conference or Twitter, reach out to your boss and teammates on a regular basis to update them about projects you are collaborating on. Send links to articles and other online resources that can help them accomplish tasks or solve problems. Of course, you should keep informal check-ins in check so that the team stays on course and people know that you value their time and attention.


Arrange face-to-face meetings. To the extent possible, request to meet with your manager and team members in person at least once a year at the company's headquarters or in another convenient location.


Share your schedule. Using online collaboration platforms like Basecamp, OfficeMedium or CubeTree, you can easily let others know where you are, when you are working and what you are working on. If you want a more pared-down - yet still versatile - collaboration tool, try an online calendar from Google  or Yahoo.


Speak up. Do not shy away from sharing your achievements and expertise. Write a blog or guest blog post, contribute articles to trade publications and participate in conversations taking place in your field on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If your company hosts forums or discussion groups, become an active participant.


By taking affirmative steps to stay visible, you can enjoy all the benefits of working remotely while nurturing and safeguarding your career. If you have any tips for keeping remote work accomplishments on the radar screen, please share them with us.


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