As a virtual worker, it is very important to stay in touch with your manager on a periodic basis. If you do not interact with your manager during the week as part of your project activities, then you must arrange to meet with him/her for a short ‘touch-base’ meeting each week. Use this time to brief your manager on your progress, validate that you are still heading in the right direction with your assignments, learn about new assignments coming up, ask for assistance to resolve issues, and clarify your goals for the coming week. These interactions will also help you feel more connected to the rest of your team and its purpose. If you work alone for long stretches of time, these interactions with your manager are especially important. Don’t let your manager forget about you. Demand some time on his or her calendar for these weekly catch-up meetings.
Here are some things to discuss in the one-on-ones with your manager:
- Clarify and reiterate roles and responsibilities
- Update them on progress against your roles and responsibilities
- Discuss roadblocks you have and how you might remove them. Ask your manager for help if you need it.
- Ask for additional resources you may need to complete your tasks.
And here are a few things that help make the one-on-one sessions easier for you:
- Always start a desktop sharing session. A one-on-one is a great time to practice using virtual team tools such as desktop sharing and whiteboarding. Make good practical use of them by sharing documents that need discussion or by sketching ideas on the whiteboard to help clarify issues.
- Use video only if you need to show some physical object where words alone are insufficient. See the video tips page for more ideas on when video is worth the effort.
- Use Instant Messaging to check with your manager ahead of your one-on-one phone call to be sure he/she is ready to meet.