5 Tips To Ace Remote Performance Reviews

By Kathy Morris - Nov. 24, 2020

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2020 has been a hectic year for many workers.

This has been the year of furloughs, layoffs, and an abrupt switch to working remotely for many office workers.

Remote workers have persevered through kitchen tables turned offices, bad Zoom connections, a small voice demanding mom or dad’s attention, and a million other work disruptions.

Yet, despite the chaos and uncertainty, yearly performance reviews are happening.

To help you ace your remote performance review, we have highlighted some tips to impress your boss (and just maybe get that much deserved raise).

1. Be Camera Ready

Depending upon your office culture, you might already be turning your web camera on for meetings. Regardless, since yearly performance reviews are more formal than a typical meeting, be prepared to turn on your camera.

This doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit or get an Instagram worthy background. However, you might want to comb your hair and check your camera works.

If nothing else, you’ll want to be sure an unpleasant camera angle won’t distract you from bragging on your accomplishments and talking about appropriate compensation changes.

2. Advocate For Yourself

It’s more important than ever that advocate for yourself.

Your boss can’t see you working hard across the office anymore. Nor do they get the casual coffee conversations.

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In addition, to the distance, your boss has been dealing with all the same chaos and changes 2020 has brought that you have.

They may be so busy they didn’t notice you taking on a new project or going above and beyond on an assignment.

3. Make A List Of Your Accomplishments

Part of advocating for yourself is being able to concisely explain your accomplishments.

Don’t rely on yourself to magically get it right during the review. Instead, take some time to really nail down your contributions.

Now is the time to go through your emails, chat conversations, and projects. What has your boss or others praised you for in the past year?

Your last yearly review, quarterly reviews, or notes from 1-on-1s can also be a good place to mine for evidence of how great you are.

In general, three is a nice solid number to emphasize your accomplishments. However, 2020 has been a hard year, so don’t let me stop you from tooting your own horn.

4. Highlight New Responsibilities

Did layoffs leave you taking over departed colleagues’ tasks? Did a temporary furlough leave you working double time when you got back to meet deadlines?

Your yearly performance review is the perfect time to point out to your boss all the extra work you’ve been doing.

5. Don’t Forget To Mention Your Adaptability

Every new remote worker has adapted to working from home during a crisis, you included.

In many cases, they did so with little guidance or instruction, forging a workflow out of the brave unknown. If you’re successfully completing your goals despite the change, that is an accomplishment worth mentioning.

Take a moment to think of how you handled the changes thrown at you. You’ll be surprised to realize how much resilience and capacity to adapt you’ve shown this year.

We’re In The Middle Of A Pandemic, You’re Doing Great

At the end of the day, we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s perfectly acceptable and completely human that you weren’t always an All-star employee this year. Deadlines may have been missed. Communication errors no doubt occurred in the transition from in-person to remote.

Perhaps, you focused on the day-to-day rather than big picture goals in the face of such uncertainty. That’s okay.

Luckily, your boss has been going through the same transition and should have a lot of empathy for your experience.

While you should strive to take away practical feedback and goals for the next year, don’t be surprised if your boss lobs you a softball for this review.

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Kathy Morris


Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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