Climb The Telecommuter Ladder

You can still advance your career from home

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As a telecommuter, you’ve enjoyed personal flexibility, reduced your clothing budget and saved on transportation expenses. On the other hand, your lack of visibility at the office may have hindered your chances for advancement or professional development. How can you climb the corporate ladder now that you’re working from home?

“Get support from your boss as well as your co-workers,” advises Jack Nilles, author of the forthcoming Managing Telework (John Wiley & Sons, $29.95). “You must stay in the loop. That means keeping colleagues well informed by regularly updating them via e-mail or telephone. Don’t let them think you’re on a full-time vacation.” Here are tips for advancing your career from home: .

  • Keep your manager involved. Present a career development plan to your boss and request his or her input. This will ensure that your work and personal growth are regularly evaluated.
  • Remain visible. Schedule lunch dates with colleagues or initiate face-to-face meetings periodically with key company executives. Let them know you’re still a member of the team.
  • Assess your technology. Do you have a fax machine, printer or Internet access? Is your computer software compatible with what your company is using? The right technology will help you be a more effective telecommuter.
  • Publicize your achievements. Don’t be too humble. Inform your colleagues of your progress and accomplishments. Use e-mail, phone calls or the company newsletter to spread the word about your contributions.

Advocate for others. Suggest telecommuting strategies for your colleagues or other team members-show them that telecommuting works.