How to handle the situation that your are the only one work remotely when the rest of team come back to office

Hi everyone, I am Vittoria, a software engineer in Lyft, recently I noticed when we go back to company in the near future, I am gonna be the only one who continue work remotely, I am the most junior engineer in the team, the rest are all seniors, I am sort of worried about how to keep the connection with other team members and how to make sure I can still hit the golden path for my promotion.I really like my current team and don't want to transfer to other teams in my current living city, not to mention I have to re-go through the promotion path with the new team. I would love to hear about your advices about being the minority group when others are in the same place. Also welcome to share your experiences if you met the same issue before.
Hi Vittoria, I have a pretty similar situation and honestly, this is hard to manage, especially when the Team lead doesn't consider the hybrid collaboration. Rather ofter I'm off-top of some team news and events, which can lead to misunderstandings. In such situations, it usually helps to suggest some additional ideas on how you can stay in touch with the team remotely. In my case, I suggest having our weekly meetings on Zoom instead of our meeting room in the office. And a quick fun call where we're sharing the best joke of the week. It helps me to create the feeling that I'm "here".
Hi Maryno, thanks for your reply. Yes, I am trying to work together with my manager, there is another reason why I have a little over-worried about this, I am sort of an introvert person and even during this pandemic time, I rarely show up in office-hour, I am totally fine with work related meeting, but can't adapt meeting like office hour and especially there are a lot of people talking. Because of family reason, I can't move to another city, I am thinking if I can find a way that not only help me to strengthen the connection with team but also can keep my comfortable feeling. I used to try share my funny experience in front of a lot of people, but that really make me feel bad and awkward.
I see. I think you can share your feelings and thoughts with your manager, and you'll find out the best solution for your comfortable workflow. In these unusual times many things have changed and team collaborations as well.
I would imagine Lyft has a people team who you can maybe reach out to regarding this? Eg. What kind of policies or meeting structures do they have planned such that remote works don't feel isolated, inferior, or less included from those who are co-located in office?This may be something worth bringing up to your manager as well, as a concern that you have so that they can actively provide you with the support you need, and also help think of strategies to pre-empt you feeling left out when in a couple months people return to the office!All is to say, you shouldn't be the only one who has to figure this out and can absolutely ask others to help 🥰
Hi Teresa, that's a really good suggestion. I restrict the range to my team and didn't think if I find some help from the People support team. I guess I kind of have a conflict thought, on the one hand, it's me who choose to keep remotely work instead of going back to office, I am a little sensitive about the possible affect if I behavior like I don't have confidence to handle this well and fear of being left out, on the other hand, I feel I should be honest to myself and my manager, only sincerely face the issue can help us to figure out a way. Jumping between these two thoughts a lot of times during these days!
How to put this nicely...they are not a great employer, but......stay remote and do your work and IMHO they cannot afford to lose a good female engineer as their reputation for promoting women is very weak. Be always available and follow up fast on when people reach out to you. Keep your calendar and details public and visible and make the extra effort to get time just for catchups and 1-1's with those who can help you in your career that work in your team or others. And FYI, I speak from direct experience with your company so please note this is intended for real feedback!
Thanks for your sincere suggestion, Sherie! TBH, I feel more worried since I am not only the only female engineer in the team but also the only one in the intermediate level. I used to avoid emphasize my women's identity since I don't want other people tag me. I will try to be more ambitious and increase my visibility as I pursue to move to next level and don't want this remote thing block the process.Out of curiosity, could you share more about your previous experience with Lyft, especially for women? I truly know very little about the culture here( joined it at the end of last year).
I don't think its about ambition, find your confidence and be conscious of tracking the quality and quantity of your work and asking for constant feedback. Companies are starving now for intermediate women especially in engineering so unless you create drama there you will probably do fine.
I'm in a similar position and have been since before Covid - my team is split across multiple cities/countries, and I'm the only one in my local office. Luckily my team is good at keeping me connected - probably because even without me, everyone else was still spread across multiple locations, so virtual collaboration would happen anyway. But, I would make sure you are getting regular facetime (video) with your boss, team, and stakeholders. For me, it helps to have at least weekly meetings with each, more if possible (team meetings plus 1:1s or standups). Will you be able to participate in team meetings via video? That can help a lot (versus just being a voice on the phone). Also, will you be 100% remote or will you occasionally be in-person (maybe for certain meetings)? In the before times, my team tried to gather in-person a few times a year, and that helped a lot, so if it's an option for you, I would try to attend big meetings in-person, or maybe spend 1 day/month or something in the office. I think the biggest thing I haven't figured out is how to build relationships beyond just work stuff. When we meet over video, there's a goal, so not as much opportunity for chitchat. Which some might feel is a relief, but I didn't realize until it was gone how much I miss it and how much that does help build better relationships with colleagues.
Thanks so much Maggie! My case would be I work remotely and the rest of team work in the same city. I think it's good to catch up every two/three month and I also forwarded this suggestion to my manager. In my mind, I feel no direction when there is no agenda for a meeting, if another person in the meeting didn't start a topic, I instantly fall into a situation that don't know what to speak for next. It seems no way to strengthen the connection beyond work stuff, which turns out to be really hard to build the relationship with cold video meetings instead of face-to-face chitchats. But on the other side, I have to admit I sort of enjoy the remote work mode, I guess it's because my introvert personality adapt it well.