Working from home can be great for career advancement. With no one keeping an eye on you, it’s a perfect way to maximize how productive your boss thinks you are. Below are some tips to achieve that.
Start Using Timed Emails
Timed emails are a great tool for increasing your perceived productivity. With timed emails, you can schedule emails throughout the day to be sent out automatically. Done well, and it’ll seem like you never left your computer.
I recommend scheduling a few timed emails throughout the week for after working hours. You can also set some up for every other weekend. This will make it seem like you’ve got the dedication to pop in outside of the traditional workday and ignore your spouse and kids.
The key here is not to overload the timed emails. Too many timed emails without any production could actually make it seem like you suck at your job and can’t manage time at home effectively. The best type of work to highlight in timed emails is work that doesn’t require active output. If there’s a task that just needs to be passively managed or monitored, mention these in your timed emails. That way you’ll look like a rockstar for keeping an eye on things, but you won’t need to actually show your work.
Teams are actively using shared calendars as a way to keep tabs on whether or not employees are available. At first glance, this makes sense. If I need to talk to someone, it’s more appropriate to look at their calendar and see if they’re free before asking for their time.
We can use these calendar blocks to double our “contributions.” Just put 1–2 hour blocks on your calendar with strong titles such as “DO NOT SCHEDULE,” or vague terms such as “Reporting Time.” If you make these consistent in your schedule, people might think that you’re an uber-motivated employee who sets aside specific blocks to get your work done. We all know what’s really going on.
Create a company newsletter
Sending updates to the company on a regular basis are a great way to remind people that you still exist — especially when there isn’t an office to remind them of your presence. Try to come up with a compelling reason to send a company-wide email blast on a continual basis. This could be a newsletter updating your peers on the industry, latest tips to navigate working from home, or maybe a collection of internet memes.
Whatever it is, make sure it’s simple. A newsletter on the industry is easy. Take like five websites on your field, grab the headlines from leading articles, and hyperlink to the article itself. This will take minimal work and give the impression that you’re up-to-date on everything. Plus, your peers will likely compliment the newsletter to signal to their colleagues that they’re also up-to-date on everything — even though they likely never clicked into your email. If successful, you can create a circle of people lying and signaling to each other. And because everyone’s lying, no one will call each other out. Perfection.
Bringing it all together
Here’s the home-run: combine all of my advice into one. Set up calendar blocks to craft your “time consuming” newsletter, and set that email on a timer to send late into the day. Preferably, send it out on a weekend.
The next email you’ll get in your inbox will be for that promotion. You’re welcome.