Show up for Work
My first professional job gave me the option to work from home, up to 80% of the time. I thought that was pretty cool. I could wake up, keep my PJ’s on, sit at the pool, pop open the laptop and make calls and answer e-mails, all while getting my tan on. What could be wrong with that, right?
Turns out, a lot.
While there’s definitely something to be said for a great work-life balance, I quickly discovered most of my colleagues were taking advantage of their privilege in the same manner I was. And they were doing alright.
However, I noticed others excelling in their work. Colleagues of mine who worked for other brands who were making a far greater impression on their clients and partners. And where were they making their calls and answering their e-mails? You guessed it… at the office. At their partner’s office, at their boss’s office, at their customer’s office. Point being?
They showed up. And so should you.
No one says you have to be the first in and first out. But if you want to be top of mind, you have to show up and be around people, physically. Ask anyone who ONLY works from home while all of their colleagues share an office. They’ll tell you there is a certain camaraderie that they miss out on, and it’s easy for these individuals to develop feelings of isolation and expendability.
But I learned that showing up doesn’t just mean showing up physically (while it certainly does mean that!). It also means showing up mentally. If you take the trek into the office, bravo. But if you’re putzing around and clearly milling about, that sets up an image for you as well. Showing up means, well, showing up, but also being present and with the community. That’s what it’s all about.
Show up at the Office
Showing up at the office means being alert and aware of your surroundings. Saying hi to your familiars as they pass you by in the hall and walk by your desk. It means being clearly engaged with the task at hand. It means being proactive and taking initiative on projects, products or concerns you have and interacting with the people who can help you make a difference.
Show up at the Bar
… or the coffee shop, or the sandwich shop. Wherever you’re meeting someone, make sure you’re there and present with them. Don’t have your mind wander. Don’t check your phone every five minutes to see if something more important has come up. DO give the person you’re with your full and undivided attention. You came this far, you got this meeting — make it worth it, for you!
Show up at Home
Finally, showing up continues on past the work day and to the domicile. There’s the old expression “don’t take work home with you” – and even if you work at home, this is a truism that should be followed. It doesn’t mean you can’t do late night e-mails or even engage in a project that needs to get done. But it does mean that when you’re deciding on whether or not to binge watch that show that no one else in the family enjoys, or wasting time in other manners, you should be conscious of the premium that activity might take away from your fruitful attention going elsewhere. There’s plenty of time for those other pursuits at other times, or after you’ve engaged and shown up at your own home.
Showing up is a lifestyle. Be engaged with the task at hand. Be engaged with the people you are working with. Be engaged with the people you love.
Now stop reading this and show up somewhere!