Career Expert Offers Advice For Standing Out When You Work From Home

Remote work opportunities seem to have skyrocketed in recent years, and it's easy to see why so many employees are in favor of their flexibility. Working from home comes with many perks, from the total absence of rush-hour commutes to the ease of preparing meals in one's own kitchen. Those who work from home may even find they have more time and energy to devote to tasks like housekeeping and personal projects in comparison to the typical 9-to-5 lifestyle.

Of course, things aren't always completely rosy in the world of remote work. Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and uncertainty, as opportunities for face-to-face interactions are limited compared to traditional working arrangements. "Working remotely means that there is no one there to check what you are doing, and no one can use body language or intonation to base their judgments on," finance expert Colin Palfrey tells Glam.

What's more, Palfrey, the chief marketing officer of Crediful, a leading authority in personal finance management, told Glam all about his winning work-from-home strategies. For over 15 years, Crediful has guided consumers in matters of debt, credit improvement, and investments. In addition to being the company's CMO, Palfrey also manages a remote team within Crediful, allowing him to provide insightful advice on how you can stand out while working remotely.

Communicate with others while on the clock

It may be easy to fly under the radar while working from home, but it isn't beneficial in the long run. No matter what your position is, it's crucial to establish rapport with your workmates. "You won't get noticed by hiding yourself away from your team. Use the team chat window to motivate and help your colleagues," says Palfrey. By getting involved in group conversations, you can help build a positive office atmosphere and mitigate some of the loneliness that comes with remote work.

According to Palfrey, you should never feel shy about providing your input to others at work. "Be ready to offer advice when it is needed and friendly conversations when the team's spirits are low," Palfrey continues. "Try to make yourself available to the team at all times, [and] be the one they turn to when help, motivation, or solace is needed. Be a friend as well as a colleague." Boosting your team's spirits is as simple as checking in from time to time. Even if you tend to work for long stretches of time, make sure you break up your day by socializing with the team every few hours.

Build trust with those in your work circle

There are certainly some challenges associated with remote work, and perhaps one of the most troubling is trying to convey nuance in a virtual setting. For example, while your personality may shine in person, it can be difficult to display the same qualities to your team online. "To stand out, you need to work on establishing trust between yourself, your team leader, and your colleagues," says Palfrey. Being involved in group communications isn't just about getting to know one another; it's also vital to staying on track with workplace expectations.

In order to develop a sense of trust in your work relationships, it's vital to develop healthy work habits of your own. Make sure that you're staying focused at work, taking on an appropriate amount of tasks, and asking questions along the way. "Trust takes time to build up but make a point of acting on your words," Palfrey explains. "Demonstrate to your fellow workers that you can be discreet when necessary, that you mean what you say, and that although you may work alone, you are still doing the best that you can."

Get organized to improve work productivity

It's no secret that working alone may involve the occasional bout of procrastination. "Working from home means that although your work pattern may be structured by your boss, you still have to organize many things yourself," Palfrey tells Glam. In order to keep a steady pace, Palfrey suggests that you take charge of your environment to keep negative habits to a minimum. "Keeping your desk free of clutter and removing any distractions from your workspace means that you have more time to dedicate to the tasks you have to do efficiently," says the finance expert.

What you do outside of work can be equally as important in cultivating productivity on the clock. "When you can, arrange your work time with your free time to create the healthiest balance you can and ensure that your work gets the attention it needs," Palfrey says. While downtime is absolutely necessary for anyone's well-being, it's helpful to remove external stressors that weigh on your mind during the workday. Try creating a to-do list at the start of each day or week to check off personal tasks by order of priority.

The importance of adaptability and flexibility

Many of us find ourselves accustomed to doing things a certain way, especially when it comes to working. However, life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and Palfrey notes that the workplace is no exception. "Without a doubt, at some stage, your boss will ask for changes in your routine or the tasks you undertake," he says. "Try as far as possible to accommodate these requests." Although you might find a sudden shift in operations a bit awkward at first, it's natural to feel some resistance to the unfamiliar.

As long as you keep a positive mindset, you'll be able to take on any challenges that come your way at work. Palfrey has several suggestions for those looking to demonstrate their versatility to their employer. "Be the one that the boss can rely on to help out when extra hours are needed or they want to try something new," he says. "Be proactive when you see a potential problem emerging or if you have an idea that you think may benefit the business or the team. Volunteer both your time and your suggestions." Don't be afraid to offer your input. The more you speak up, the more confident you'll become when contributing to discussions.

Take responsibility for your mistakes

Let's face it: even the most vigilant employees can still make mistakes at work. If you happen to be the one in the wrong, the best thing you can do is own up to it. "Always be ready to accept accountability for your actions, and never try to shift the blame for mistakes onto someone else," says Palfrey. That being said, toxic colleague behavior does exist, but you never want to contribute to it.

Even in the event that a slip-up is more of a team effort, it's vital to take some responsibility rather than keep mum or wait it out. "No one respects anyone who points the finger. If the team has messed up, accept your role in that mistake," Palfrey tells us. "Learn from your mistakes and look for ways to overcome the errors that have been made." If you find that you struggle with certain areas at work, try keeping a notepad at your desk to jot down common problems and how to circumvent them. Most importantly, says Palfrey, always show your team how much you appreciate their support. "When there has been a success, acknowledge it as a team effort, don't try to take all the credit for yourself."