4 reasons your boss thinks you’re underperforming

Working from home could hurt your performance reviews if you aren’t managing your work appropriately.
Your boss may think you’re underperforming if you don’t communicate with them or your coworkers.
You should always keep your work attire, behavior, and home office professional to ensure productivity.

It’s harder for bosses to assess how you’re performing at home, and it could cost you your job. Here are four reasons why you may be considered an underperformer even if you aren’t.

You don’t communicate

If you worked in an office before, you know how easy it was for your boss to ‘pop in’ and check on your progress. Working remotely doesn’t allow that luxury. Your boss must rely on you to communicate with them or vice versa.

If you’re the reserved type and don’t regularly update your boss via email, Slack, or phone, they may think you’re not doing your job.

Even if you work hard every day and meet your deadlines, bosses like updates, so they have a handle on every aspect of what’s going on – when you don’t provide those updates, they worry.

You don’t converse with your co-workers

Even if you update your boss regularly, you must still talk to your co-workers. Interaction is key to a thriving business, primarily when everyone works remotely.

If you aren’t filling your co-workers in on your progress or the boss checks in with your team and no one knows what you’ve been up to or what progress you’ve made on a project, they may think you’re not pulling your weight.

Communication among the staff is the key to a successful operation.

You’re never available for calls or IMs when your boss needs you

When you work in the office, your boss can call your name across the office and expect an answer instantly. Working remotely doesn’t offer that option. Your boss must rely on technology to get a hold of you.

What happens when you’re not available? They insinuate the worst most of the time, especially if they can’t get a hold of you many times in a row.

Rather than putting your job at risk, communicate with your boss about when they would like updates so you can make sure you’re available when they need/want you.

You don’t keep it professional

If you’re always on your couch, wearing your loungewear, or have kids screaming in the background every time your boss calls or video chats with you, it could be a bad sign to your boss.

Even if you’re doing your best and delivering the same level of work, the distractions going on around you when your boss calls can make them think you’re underperforming.

The bottom line

Working remotely can work, and you may even get a promotion while working from home if you handle it right. For it to work, there has to be a fine line between your home and office life, just like there was when you commuted into the office. 

Talk with your family about the boundaries you need to set, create a schedule to communicate with your boss and co-workers, and always look professional, so you don’t give your boss any reason to think you’re doing anything but a stellar job. If you’re concerned about what your boss thinks, have a conversation about it and decide what, if anything, must change.