Join Mary Abbajay for an in-depth discussion in this video How to manage up virtually, part of Managing Up Virtually as an Employee.
- Sudden shifts into remote work means that many of us have to figure out not only how to manage our workload while working remotely but also how to manage our relationships, especially the ones with our boss. So, while you're trying to figure out how to maintain your productivity, working from home, do take some time to make sure you understand how to manage the relationship with your boss. Let's take a moment to recognize some of the challenges around managing up virtually. First of all, many managers are resistant to telework. They don't naturally trust that you are working. Number two, most managers were never trained to be virtual managers, so, they're trying to figure it out on the fly. And thirdly, managing up virtually, whether it's your boss or any of your colleagues relationships, takes a lot of extra effort. We have to be much more intentional about building that relationship when we're not co-located. So, let me give you a couple of strategies for how you can be really excellent at managing up virtually. Number one, stay on their radar. Keep connected with your boss, keep them in the loop. I highly recommend that you do a check-in at least every day even if it's just a five-minute phone call or a quick three-line email. Make sure they know you are there and they know what you're up to. Number two, be transparent and available. Be transparent about your availability. Let your boss know what your schedule is. Let them know when you're in meetings. Do a shared calendar. And when you actually say you're available, make sure you are available. Nothing erodes trust faster than when your boss reaches out to you and you're not around. Make sure you align your communication styles. It's very important to understand how your boss prefers to communicate and how often they want to communicate with you. And finally, take some time to get feedback. Not only feedback on your projects but get feedback on the process of working virtually. My favorite thing is to do what I call a plus delta. It's a simple little exercise where you and your boss talk about what's working well with the virtual engagement. And then, the delta is what are some things that we could change, do a little more of, do a little differently, to really enhance the virtual engagement? Developing a positive and productive virtual relationship with your boss may take some extra effort. While remote working may not be your cup of tea, try to see as an opportunity to show your boss what a resilient, creative, invaluable employee you can be.