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Maintaining a Presence While Working Remotely

In this beautiful and unique time in history, working remotely has never been more accessible or common. Thousands of professionals are going to meetings, presenting in boardrooms, designing, communicating, consulting, and more all from the comfort of their home office. Remote working is a great option for professionals who do not want their work to be limited by their commute opportunities or confined by their geography.

However, working remotely can yield different experiences for professionals, both personally and within a company dynamic. Specifically, in the common scenario of conference calls and Skype presentations, it can be hard for remote team members to make an impact while not being physically present. Without being physically present, it can be hard to vouch for your ideas, thoughts, and contributions. While difficulty maintaining a presence online at a conference call can seem arbitrary, it ultimately can reflect how co-workers, teammates, and employers view your performance. Here are our top two tried-and-true tips to maintaining an influential role within your office, while working remotely.

1. Make a Point to Verbalize Your Nonverbal Cues

When you agree with someone in a meeting, you might find yourself smiling, nodding, and taking a note of something someone said. When you disagree or find yourself confused, you might look quizzically or shake your head. While calling in on a conference allows you to speak and listen live, it does not account for these communicative cues. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but verbalizing those cues are important to establish your presence in the meeting. Try saying “good” as someone talks to represent your nod, or “I’m going to diagram that” when a pitch is shared instead of having them see you take notes.

2. Don’t Be Silenced by Interruptions​

Conferences or meetings without face-to-face interactions can be tricky. With so many members sharing each of their own thoughts, ideas, and comments, it can be tricky to find a space to share your contribution. When you are attending a meeting remotely, it can be even tougher to find a gap in conversation without running the risk of interrupting someone. The key to navigating these tricky waters is to not let your voice be silenced by these unconventional situations. If you find your voice clashing with someone else’s, do not demand the space to share, but make sure that your turn is established. For example, state, “I have something to add after you share,” or, “You can go ahead, but I need to add something after.”

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