According to a new survey from Robert Half, more than 56 percent of workers say getting involved in office politics is at least somewhat necessary to get ahead. But 42 percent don’t feel office politics are necessary to get ahead. I wonder how many of among those 42 percent work in a virtual office.
"There is some degree of politics at play in virtually every organization," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. "The savviest professionals practice workplace diplomacy. They remain attuned to political undercurrents but don't allow themselves to get pulled into situations that could compromise their working relationships or reputation."
You may not have a much office politics going on if you work from a virtual office, but the truth is there is still some office politics to deal with. Here are Robert Half’s six tips for navigating office politics—even from a virtual office.
- Lobby for the respect and trust of all your colleagues. Forge strong alliances by sharing credit for successes and delivering on your promises.
- Avoid smear campaigns. Gossiping or outright mudslinging is only guaranteed to damage one person's credibility: yours. When you're upset or frustrated, wait until after you've calmed down to express your concerns.
- Stay true to your values. It's an unfortunate truth that there are those who'll do anything to "win," but character and credibility count.
- Smart candidates tailor their message and approach to the audience. Apply the same tactic to your coworkers; observe their unique work styles, priorities and communication preferences—and be willing to adapt your approach.
- Play by the rules. Avoid sticky situations by paying close attention to office protocol at your firm. If you take a misstep, make amends quickly.
- Dodge controversy. Getting into heated debates about non-work issues can generate unnecessary ill will.
With so many virtual office technologies, you are still connected to your coworkers in the office. So these tips come in handy. The good news is you can avoid a lot of the office politics because you won’t be in the fray of the daily grind on the job site.
Check out this video for dealing with office politics: