There’s something to be said for being visible —
There’s something to be said for being visible —just compare attitudes toward Superman and the Invisible Man. How well do you remember someone you really can’t see? How do you connect with something you can’t … well, connect with? Not only are shiny blue spandex and a bright red cape visually more appealing than ace bandages, being able to run faster than a speeding bullet, be stronger than a locomotive and leap tall buildings in a single bound makes for a better first impression than not quite being “all there.”
So what’s a teleworker to do? Wearing superman pajamas probably isn’t the answer, but we can steal a few pointers from the Man of Steel.
Superman’s 7 visibility tips for teleworkers:
- Be Virtually Visible.
Clark Kent has his finger on the pulse of the Daily Planet. Even though he was teleworking as Superman, he kept up appearances as Clark. He even encourages Lois Lane to write stories and do interviews. The office, and the public, are well aware of his teleworking feats of glory.
As a teleworker, stay visible to your co-workers and employers via electronics. Email, listserv, and other methods of office communications. Respond quickly, as if you are there.
- Be Physically Visible
Even shy Clark Kent shows up to gather the news and tend to company business. Superman recognizes the need to be physically visible, too. Though partially a disguise, the superhero costume ties him to his work, and makes everyone aware of his presence.
As a teleworker, a disguise isn’t required. Being physically visible, however, is good practice. When the company sponsors celebrations such as birthdays, retirement parties, receptions and the like, be in attendance. If there are opportunities to serve the community through company-sponsored events, be sure to participate.
- Fit Into the Office Culture
Being a reporter, Clark knows just what is expected of him in the office and on the road. He knows how to connect with important people, and how to seek direction and advice. As Superman, he respects his limits and tries to be supportive of all who are involved. He works well with others to achieve goals.
As a teleworker, communication and connections with other workers, whether in or out of the office, are essential. Involve others in important decisions. Work as a team member by valuing the input of others. Stay in touch frequently. Keep appointments via phone or in person. Make their work important, too.
- Welcome Interaction on Your Turf
Superman arranges to meet Lois in locations that are most comfortable for him.
As a teleworker, you can do this, too. Using your home as a “conference area” for coworkers to meet in can be refreshing, and a break from the constant interruptions that are ever-present in the office. Let others enjoy your brainstorm space, and see how much can be accomplished.
- Toot Your Own Horn
Clark controls how much and what kind of information is given to the press about his superhero status. Superman reveals important information to let the public know he’s a good guy and on their side.
As a teleworker, follow his example. Market yourself! Be sure coworkers are aware of the work you are doing. Communicate frequently with your employer and keep them up to date on progress, problems, etc. Send references to coworkers and employers for websites, blogs, and more that pertain to your work. Include links that are of interest to them, and that will inspire ideas and further their careers as well.
- Publish. Put Yourself in Print.
Clark Kent wants to be published. He mentors others who want to be in print, too. And the public wants more!
As a teleworker, use print to your advantage. Write articles for your organization’s communications and newsletters. Ask coworkers or supervisors to co-author articles and research. Blogs can be appropriate ways to detail work experiences…just be careful to keep them professional.
- Build Reputation and Relationships
Clark is reliable, honest and humble. So is Superman.
As a teleworker, these qualities are relevant and important. Completing projects within the given time frame, keeping your employer up to pace with your work, making honest requests and reports, and owning up to difficulties will build the reputation that you are a teammate to turn to. Relationships in a work-away setting are important to maintain.
If you have been hiding behind your telework wraps, it’s time to put on your cape. Take flight! Your employer and fellow coworkers will appreciate your work and your efforts. Pick one today and get started — as Tony Robbins says, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
Thanks for the TR quote, @tombolt