Take Advantage When in the Office

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Career Advice

There has been so much written and discussed, over the last few years, regarding the benefits of remote working, especially when it is done from home. There is no denying that there is an opportunity to improve work-life-balance while saving money on incidentals such as meals, dry cleaning, and automobile fuel.

We are not going to debate, in these pages, the idea of where work is more productive…home v. office, but we will focus on one area where being in the office has an almost indisputable advantage. This advantage lies with your ability to move your career forward within an organization.

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at a recent study by the American Staffing Association and Harris Poll. 56% of those responding believe that working in the office will lead to better career outcomes such as raises, promotions, etc. So, if you have a choice between working remote and in the office, you may want to consider being on-site at least some of the time.

It is one thing to work on-site, but quite another altogether to do it in a way that will help progress your career towards that pay increase, bonus target, or promotion that you are seeking. Let’s look at some of the things that you can do to make sure you take full advantage of your time in the office.

• Be Warm and Welcoming: Be sure to be a person that greets with “good morning” or “good evening”, and be the one who asks others how they are doing. These are basic relationship building items that are easily missed when not working on-site together. When you are working remotely, your only engagement time tends to be if you join a call early with someone else before anyone else jumps on.

• Try To Meet In-Person: If you are on-site and others are also, then conducting the meeting in-person or meeting them directly 1 on 1 is a good strategy. Not only will you probably find that you were able to get more completed by working in-person with someone (or a group), but you are building allies that will help you in your career progression.

• Volunteer For Visible Projects: Some projects are more physically visible than others. It is important to strike a balance between the more analytical assignments and those where your physical presence will be noticed. If you are going to be in the office for a stretch of time, then try to align your assignments towards work that is more group oriented and visible.

• Be Approachable: You are in the office not only to be able to connect with others, but also (the reverse) for them to connect with you. So, keep your office door open when you can, don’t sit with your back towards everyone, and be ready to engage in relationship-building conversation when approached. You should also try hard to stay positive both in your demeanor and body language, so others will perceive you as being open to engagement.

• Direct Time With Your Boss: Your Manager usually plays a key role in your future career success by serving as a mentor and an advocate for you. Studies have shown that the vast amount of what you learn is not done via a classroom or webinar, but rather on-the-job learning and the coaching you receive from your Manager. By being physically together, that bond probably has a greater opportunity to grow stronger, improving your performance, your knowledge, and your reputation. This benefit is not limited for just your Manager, but also other more senior leaders in the company.

• Get Your Work Done: While it may be easier to attract someone’s attention when on-site, the bottom-line is the same for everyone – your work must be done on-time and of a superior quality. You must be able to work through any of the distractions that may exist with on-site labor, such as the “water cooler” conversations, or the “drive by” discussions that often can be non-work related.

As much as the remote work advocates highlight the work-life balance advantages of this type of arrangement, it is hard to ignore that your career may benefit by being on-site (at least part of the time). The key, however, is to use your time in front of others wisely and to the benefit of not only the work you are doing, but also your relationship building. You will be noticed positively, not only by your co-workers, but also Managers will place you on a faster track towards internal success.

As always, the best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: Joe Stein

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