Impress Your Boss While Working Remotely

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a good job it is your responsibility to make your work stand out to ensure that you are not on the short list if there are any future layoffs.

As an executive coach, I know my clients are concerned about being noticed by their managers. This is particularly important for those who tend to be more introverted, or those that might have been on the outs with their supervisor prior to the quarantine. Even if you are only part-time or a consultant, it’s time to step up your game.

Here are a few tips that will help:

1 – Arrive a few minutes early to all conference calls and videoconferences.

I have a strong opinion on this one. I feel that lateness shows disrespect and disorganization. Being early gives you the time to relax, prepare and say hi to everyone else. You will be noticed.  

2 – Maintain regular business hours.

We are working our way through an unusual time where many of us have responsibilities at home beyond our jobs.  Flexibility is key for many of us to be successful now. With that said, if you need to have a different schedule be sure that others know. But, try to have a consistent schedule. The last thing you want said about you is “I have no idea where so-in-so is.”

3 – Always answer your bosses phone calls.

Sounds simple, so why is it so hard? Keep your phone next to you at all times. Keep the ringer on if that helps. If you have to walk around, put your phone in your pocket. Being available and responsive will give your boss the idea that you are there for him/her.

4 – Answer emails ASAP

I know this can be challenging but remember “Out of sight, out of mind.” Since you are not visible to your boss and coworkers, answering emails is the second best way to be seen.

5 – Do your best work.

That’s right, put in a little more effort. Perhaps you can use technology that you have not used before; learn how to create charts or design more elaborate presentations. Show how you are learning and growing.

6 – Do not procrastinate on any assignments.

If you are someone who does procrastinate, it might be challenging for you to stop procrastinating during this difficult time. But now is better than never. If you are someone who does not procrastinate, you might not have the energy to be on top of your projects at this time. Trust me your boss will notice who he/she can count on.

7 – Be proactive. 

Now is the time to think out of the box. If you have an idea for your company, write a proposal. If you have a new way of solving a problem that your team has been working on, create a presentation and ask for a meeting. If you have strong tech skills, you may want to help others who are less inclined.

Speak up, show up, or run the risk of going unnoticed.

Kathi Elster – Executive Coach and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at for any further help around this topic.

0 thoughts on “Impress Your Boss While Working Remotely

  • Erica Willick says:

    Hi Kathi,
    I’m enjoying reading your & Katherine’s blogs. You guys always stay real, relevant & authentic. Thank you for the work you do! I was inspired by our coaching time and put out a Home Gym Masterclass which has helped 100+ ppl embrace their home gym exercise.

    Stay well,
    Erica Willick

  • Rena Cromer says:

    Hello – I feel like I have been doing everything you have suggested on this list but last week I had to set some boundaries with my boss. Even in normal times, I don’t feel that it is appropriate to call me after 9pm. So when he rang at 9p and I was having family time, I saw it was him and let it go to VM. I then listened to the VM and decided it wasn’t an emergency. He was seeking help on a simple excel worksheet. Something that could have easily been googled or he could have called our company IT line, instead of me.
    Then came the text messages…around 9:30p So, I decided to politely respond to him that I was busy and that I’d speak to him in the morning. I thought that would be enough to get my point across in a polite way while setting a boundary. Soon after, I put everyone to bed and quickly fell asleep. The next morning I awake to find a missed call at 10:05p with another VM stating the same simple excel Q.
    Once I got everyone in the house going about their day, I sat down to my laptop and sent him an email to ask if he was available to talk about the issue he had last night. He never responded to me. A few hours later we had a team zoom meeting in which he directly asked me a Q, I answered and he snapped at me very inappropriately. I felt like it was payback for not answering the phone the night before. As the zoom meeting wrapped up, he asked that I stay on the line to go through his excel Qs. Once everyone left, he apologized to me for snapping during the meeting. I accepted the apology but also let him know that I was very confused by his behavior since I was simply answering the Q. I was a little miffed that he couldn’t apologize to me in front of the others. He never asked me the excel Q.
    So I feel like I probably shot myself in the foot by creating this boundary of not answering work calls after 9pm, but I felt like it was necessary for my sanity & my family as well. I also think that my boss should take some initiative and find other ways than always relying on me for things like this.
    After reading your last newsletter, I just felt the need to write to you ladies and give you an idea for the next newsletter: Boundaries During Quarantine.
    The paragraph about having the phone next to you and always answering when the boss calls is what prompted me to want to write. I’m not sure I agree with it entirely as you can see how I’ve been treated.
    Thanks for all you do. Can’t wait until the podcast returns! Hope you all are well and safe.

    • Kathi Elster says:

      Hi Rena,
      I think you are right and maybe could have set these boundaries before you used them. We are living in unusual times, and because of it people are more stressed then usual. I wonder if you had told your boss earlier that because your day now includes more family responsibilities you would like to stop your work at 9:00PM. I wonder if you had done that he might not have gotten so passive aggressive. So going forward it’s a good idea to discuss with him.

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