Mutual trust creates a solid foundation for any employee-employer relationship. But in a telecommuting situation, trust takes on even greater significance. Without being able to physically witness the work being done, managers make a leap of faith that remote staff members can regulate their own behavior and produce without direct supervision. And as a remote worker, you have to gain trust.
Use these nine reputation-building strategies to gain trust from your boss when you work remotely:
1. Share your to-do list.
Creating such a document demonstrates your time management and organizational skills. Going over it together ensures both sides are clear on priorities and exactly what is going to be accomplished.
2. Possess reliable technology.
Workers need tools to do their jobs, so managers become nervous over wonky computers and spotty Internet connections. Report problems with company-issued equipment as soon as possible and follow up with the tech department.
Maintaining dependable, up-to-date gadgets should likewise be a priority if the equipment is your own.
3. Present a professional atmosphere.
Can you blame a boss who worries when she hears a baby crying during your phone call or who must wait five minutes while you look around for the client contact information she desires?
Create a calm, organized workspace conducive to your productivity and your employer’s trust.
4. Keep your word.
Feel like you’re part of a cat-and-mouse game? Stop your boss’s need to “catch” you slacking by always being where you’re supposed to be during work hours, checking and returning messages at agreed-upon times, and respecting deadlines.
5. Never blindside.
Most managers do not view asking for help or for further explanation as a sign of weakness but rather as a smart move by a diligent employee. A boss who knows you will give a heads-up when problems arise and double-check anything of doubt won’t feel the need to constantly check in.
6. Don’t be a pest.
While great communication is a must, overdoing it can raise questions about whether you should be working without direct supervision. Honor your boss’s busy schedule by asking for the best times and ways to make non-emergency contact. Then, group comments and concerns together for those sessions.
7. Be a team player.
Along that same line, don’t turn your boss into the middleman. Stay in contact with other members of the staff. Seek out people directly for information you need or questions they could best answer. You’ll gain a reputation as an active, intricate member of the group rather than as the “outsider.”
Mistakes happen. Employees who take ownership, resist blaming others, and work quickly to make amends restore trust. Avoid cover-ups, which only lead to suspicion.
Whether an in-house worker or a remote one, performance takes the cake. A manager who sees that you consistently meet (or better yet, surpass) goals knows that you’re a trustworthy professional with the company’s best interests at heart.