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Remote work hacks: Should you assume or ask?

(Photo: Unsplash)

To maintain a smooth work flow even remotely, here's what 'Get Your Next Promotion' author Manbir Kaur advises

By Siddhi Jain

September 10, 2020 (IANSlife) Covid-19 is here to stay, at least for a while. The work environment has changed, temporarily for many and permanently for few. Many things may never go back to the old ‘normal’ and it looks like working from home all the time is going to be one such thing. Remote working is all set to become the new norm. Offices will assume a new role of providing a base to connect with the rest of the team members, occasionally, to renew relationships and build new ones.

 

Manbir Kaur and her Book
Manbir Kaur and her Book

 

‘Remote Oriented’ Work – What will you lose?

Even with the shift to remote working, the volatility in business continues, more than ever before. Therefore, most of the roles require you to learn new things every day to cope up with ever changing demands. And if you need to grow in your career, you will need to do much more than that. You need to excel at your work but also expand your scope by seeking new knowledge, new experiences, new insights, and new networks. 

When you were in office, and a new requirement came in, you could potentially get a chance to contribute. When a skill was required; you could potentially ask for help; when a doubt came up, you could seek some clarifications. The times you were going in a wrong direction, someone will spot you and help you course correct.

It was alright to make some assumptions and start as soon as possible, while you knew that you have some help at hand. It was still okay to wait for opportunities to come and take your chances at them. With remote work, all this has become less plausible.

 
It is OK to ask

To ask is to be human. As children we were relatively free with our queries; we asked a lot of questions but as we grew up, we became self-conscious. Asking in formal set-up became more complicated. To keep things simple, we started making a lot of assumptions, especially assumptions that were known only to us. This became a way of life and we started expanding the sphere of assumptions. The advantages of being in office and being surrounded with colleagues, who could help, is no longer there.

The problem with assumptions is that now we may realise too late that we were wrong. The problem of waiting for things to happen to us, is that we may be waiting forever. So, take that bold step and 'ask' upfront: Clarify your doubts, ask for the help you need, seek opportunities for growth, and finally, seek time to ask for validation of direction that you are taking up.

Remember, assumptions can have an impact on your career and organisation, so asking at the right time is an important skill to acquire.

 

 

The author Manbir Kaur is an executive and leadership coach, and author of 'Get Your Next Promotion' 

 

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