Lockdown changed the working environment overnight. Most of us are still spending the majority if not all of our time working from home. Although this has been an eye opener with many of us now appreciating a far better work/life balance, it isn’t without challenges. What skills should you be improving in the post Covid workplace?
Adaptability is key.
We largely had no choice but to change our working practices, not least because we had to adopt different and often new technology at breakneck speed. Embracing the changes this has meant and looking for ways to make the new working environment effective has been crucial. We are all in the same boat so it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment. Explore the new technology and systems, and don’t shy away from trying new things.
Explore how home working can be most effective for you, balancing that with caring responsibilities. We have already had to be adaptable when managing our time for example when children are sent home from school for self- isolation. A supportive employer will work around your additional responsibilities providing you have taken the initiative. Plan your day accordingly, managing expectations and keeping managers/team members informed.
With so many employers looking to introduce hybrid working, think about how this could work for you and how you will be able to manage your role effectively between more than one location.
We all need help at some stage though so be proactive in seeking out advice. It can feel isolating working at home and out of sight of your work support network, so it is essential that if something isn’t working for you and you’re lost for answers, ask! No-one will think less of you, and you almost certainly won’t be the only one looking for a helping hand.
Often the most successful people inside and outside of work are those that are interested in what’s going on around them, constantly learning, looking to acquire new skills and exploring different ways of doing things.
Being creative at work doesn’t have to involve big gestures or expensive projects. There are many ways to make a difference so start with what you know, what you do every day and think about how you could make it better, more efficient, more robust, more inclusive, more empathetic towards colleagues etc.
Is there something that would make a positive difference to the way you work? Start small and work up, and never be embarrassed to contribute an idea. Not every new idea will be used, but at the very least it is raising your profile. With remote working, personal branding has never been more important.
Now that we are less visible in the working environment, it’s a good idea to remain seen and heard. You don’t want to be forgotten when it comes to new opportunities to work on different projects, the next promotion round, training courses or even just day to day support with your busy workload.
Personal branding is simply letting your target audience know who you are and what you can do. The audience could be your colleagues, your bosses, potential new employers and potential new clients.
LinkedIn is a great place to start so if you haven’t got an account, get one. Look at the profiles of the people you work with for ideas of what to say and how to get involved. There are other blogs on our website with more advice.
But your personal branding isn’t only about your on-line presence. To stay ‘in view’ at work, take the initiative. If you’re looking for promotion, make sure your boss knows about it. Ask them what areas you should be looking to work on or gain experience of to put yourself in the running.
Volunteer ideas and offer to get involved in projects. It doesn’t matter how small or large as long as you don’t over promise and under deliver. Always fulfill your commitments because you don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Cathy Buckley is one of the directors of Buckley Consulting Limited. She has a background in tax, having worked for HMRC, industry and a leading firm of accountants. She has specialised in tax recruitment for over 25 years and regularly writes articles to help both employer and employee with recruitment and career development issues. For confidential career advice get in touch with Cathy on 020 3303 0020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org