askST Jobs: I've been working from home and feeling invisible. How can I get my boss to notice me?

The work from home arrangement is here to stay, even as Singapore recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO: ST FILE

In this series, manpower correspondent Calvin Yang offers practical answers to candid questions on navigating workplace challenges and getting ahead in your career.

Q: I've been working from home and feeling invisible. What can I do to get my boss to notice me?

A: There are ways to make your presence felt online when you are not physically in office.

Get familiar with text and video chat platforms, which allow you to connect with your colleagues and build rapport even without meeting face to face, says Ms Michele Nyrop, a senior vice-president of employee success at software giant Salesforce.

"It is important to keep your skills and knowledge fresh with continuous skills upgrading and development so you can keep up with workplace demands and expectations."

As is the case for physical meetings, it is important to be on time, prepared and engaged, says Ms Kirsty Hulston, regional director of recruitment agency Hays Singapore.

But above all, it is important to stay visible online.

For instance, ask questions and show you are listening by nodding at appropriate intervals.

For work tasks, employees can keep their supervisors updated on what they have been doing weekly, suggests Mr Adrian Tan from the Singapore Human Resources Institute.

"Be proactive and request to take on any new task even if it is outside your scope."

Dr David Leong, managing director of PeopleWorldwide Consulting, says: "A sense of usefulness is about adding value to the organisation, and if the person feels that he or she is feeling useless working from home, the person probably is."

He adds that contributions and performance at work, including targets, can be measured by outcomes and milestones.

Labour observers say that a worker should re-evaluate his role and targets with superiors, and draw up a score sheet with these goals in black and white so that they are more trackable.

Bosses, too, may have similar work from home struggles, such as being out of the loop on what their subordinates are doing.

They usually appreciate regular updates on the progress on the ground, say with various projects and clients that you are handling.

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