Remaining Vital in a Hybrid Workplace

Our world now bifurcates into a hybrid environment and an office environment. As I wrote about earlier this year, many of you had a choice…work from home or at the office. What did you choose…the kitchen table or the office table?

For those of you who have chosen to work more virtually rather than physically, you have extra work to do. Even though companies went through a long stretch where nearly ALL employees had to work remotely, the old mindset is starting to creep back into the C-Suite: Out of sight, out of mind. And that presents a real challenge for you.

A client of mine highlighted this realization. The executive who has guided her throughout her time at this organization left the firm. He had accepted her remote working situation because he knew her value. So…yikes! Now what? Many in the firm realized that she made meaningful contributions. However, they were not so intimately aware of her work that would make her physical absence a non-issue. We had some work to do!

We focused on her new boss. She needed to quickly gain trust and prove her worth to the firm so that he could be comfortable with her working outside the office. Like a lot of the work I do…that says easy, does hard. Here are a few steps we took to establish that trust and re

Step #1: Demonstrate value. She needed to get in front of the new boss ASAP with the correct, concise update of her 2023-2024 accomplishments. This step set the table and established her value over time.

Step #2: Learn about the boss’ priorities and challenges. It was not enough to have the new supervisor learn about her and her work. We developed several probing questions that would foster a conversation through which she could learn about the new boss. Armed with that information, she can ensure she addresses these issues with the work she does.

Step #3: Agree on direction. It was important that she understand his perceived value of what she had been working on and then mutually determine whether to continue her current work or make a 180-degree turn from this direction to her superior’s new vision.

Step #4: Be interested first! Throughout the process, it would be critical that she remain interested in her new superior…..and THEN be interesting to him/her.

Have you been struggling with your work identity because you are working remotely? It’s never too late to implement these steps to right your course, stay connected to your supervisor, and demonstrate value. Really…you can do that from anywhere!