Living through a pandemic has thrown out the career rule book. We now have more TWATs (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the office) and a significant number of employees are working entirely from home. People have also had the time to reflect on their lives and careers. As a result, we’ve seen ‘The Great Resignation’ in many parts of the world. It’s a time of significant change in the employment market and there are great opportunities for talented people with the right mindset.
This ONE change in your behaviour has the power to advance your career…
SHOW UP at the office
Pretty simple! The easiest way to progress your career and set yourself apart in the eyes of your boss is to show up (and work hard). Often the employee who sits and works closest to their boss is the one who gets promoted. It’s for a similar reason as when famous people are elected as politicians, voters are more likely to select someone they’ve seen and heard of. This phenomenon is known as the familiarity bias – the demonstrated tendency for individuals to prefer what is familiar to them and to seek to avoid the unknown. So, don’t be a stranger to your boss!
Of course, everyone’s situation is different and as a company who embraces flexible work arrangements, we’re not about to tell you that you have to get back to the office in order to experience career progression. However, for many people’s circumstances this is the best course of action.
Here are three questions you can ask yourself to help establish if it would benefit you to show up at the office more.
1. Does my boss work full-time from the office?
Obviously this is most advantageous if your boss is working out of the same location as you. By going into the office, you’ll increase your interactions with your boss and be able to demonstrate your work ethic. If your boss works out of different states or country, it is still relevant to ask yourself this question because their own working methods are likely to be reflective of their beliefs. A boss that never works from home unless forced to, may think that people who choose to do so are being lazy and not doing enough work, take for instance Elon Musk who asked employees to return to the office or “pretend to work somewhere else”.
2. Is my company encouraging or requesting that we return to the office?
If you’ve happily embraced working-from-home full-time but your company wants you in the office three days per week minimum, there’s an obvious misalignment. Sticking to your guns and ignoring updates in company policy will go against you. You might want to consider if you’ll have better career progression at an organisation that is more in line with your beliefs and values.
3. Do I feel that I am more productive and inspired when I’m regularly at the office?
The pandemic highlighted that many jobs are achievable working from home. Essential workers being an obvious exception. However, just because we can work from home doesn’t mean we always should. As yourself honestly if you feel as motivated when working from home? Reflect on your productivity levels and sense of fulfilment at work.
Asking yourself these important questions should help you decide if working-from-home is beneficial for this stage of your career and the particulars of your role.