Face time in the office – the new rules

In the olden days, AKA pre-Covid times, we were all in the office, all the time. So our bosses and teammates could see the hours we were putting in without us even having to think about it. Opportunities for impromptu chats around the photocopier abounded. But the working world has changed. And many of us are left scratching our heads as to how we can get face time that counts in the context of such a mishmash of hybrid working schedules.


The Wall Street Journal recently asked the same question. It claims that although being seen at work still matters for your career, there’s a smarter way to get it than pretending you live at your desk. For a quick walk-through of the key points, please read on.


Pre-Covid, workers were considered dependable and conscientious if they were always present during work hours. If they regularly stayed late, they were likely to be thought of as committed and dedicated. These days, you might win such badges of approval just for showing up!


To win the most interesting projects, and improve your chances of promotion, you need to be on your boss’s radar, and ensure that he or she likes and trusts you. Coinciding in the office for regular updates on the great work you’re doing is an effective way of achieving these goals.


Don’t attend every networking event you’re invited to. Spreading yourself too thin leaves you with no energy to network anyway, and increases the risk of burnout. So be discerning with the invitations you accept, and ramp up your face time at key times of the year, e.g., in the weeks prior to your performance review or when the next quarter’s projects are being distributed.


Be strategic. Decide who it’s important to impress, find out when they’ll be in the office, and adjust your work plans accordingly. Try to schedule a quick update meeting with that person. One interviewee in the article said the important thing was to ‘be brief, be relevant and be gone.’


If your company has a particular day where everyone is expected to be in the office, be mindful of overburdening your colleagues with meetings. Sometimes, scheduling a meeting on a quieter day is a much better option. At particularly busy times, consider replacing your update meeting with a brief report presented in bullet point format and left on your boss’s desk. This quicker form of update is likely to be appreciated while also ensuring that your hard work is still noticed.


We hope that the above tips are useful to you as you fine-tune your plans for continued success and happiness at work in 2023. If finding your new dream job is more your tipple this holiday season, please get in touch. With over 30 years of experience in the industry and close working relationships with over 400 companies worldwide, we will fast-track your search and help you nail the interview. Please get in touch!