How to get promoted when working from home

With a great many of us still working from home, how can you hope to get promoted if you aren’t in the office? What’s the best way to make your boss notice you, and to stand out from your colleagues?

Salesman John says that you have to regard the emails you send to your manager as an art form that needs to be perfected.

“If you are working from home, then when you email your boss you cannot be just to the point, instead you have to express your wider knowledge,” says the 45-year-old, who preferred not to share his surname.

“But you don’t want him or her to know that you are showing off, you have to be subtle.

“And then when you get an email from them, you have to really study the tone, and it is the same for Zoom calls. If you work from home, and want to get promoted, you have a fight on your hands. And much more so if some of your colleagues are still going into the office.”

For anyone who remembers the advice columns in teenage magazines on how to get a boyfriend or girlfriend, then some of the tips on offer (in books, newspapers, and internet forums) on how to persuade your boss to promote you are strangely familiar – smile, be polite and flatter.

And then ask for what you want, because if you don’t ask you won’t get. Be it a new love interest, or a promotion.

 

But if you want to rise through the ranks at work, being based at home as a result of the continuing coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly makes it more of a challenge.

After all, if you are working from your kitchen table or study, you are not going to bump into your boss, see them in person every day in meetings, or have a chance to bend their ear in the corridor.

And from your boss’s perspective, while he or she can easily tell how hard someone is working in the office, it is sometimes hard for them to resist the nagging fear that home workers are playing with their kids, walking the dog, or baking a sourdough loaf.

Melanie Wilkes, a senior policy adviser at the Work Foundation think tank, says it is important that employees working hard from home keep in close contact with their boss.

“We are seeing many workers taking on multiple responsibilities that they didn’t do before the crisis,” she says. “So make sure that is noticed and noted, even if it is just an email.”

 

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