How your boss would really like you to show up for work

As we prepare to celebrate the great gift of New Year’s Eve on Wednesday, let’s pause to think about the joy of being back at work after the holidays. As many of us know,…

How your boss would really like you to show up for work

As we prepare to celebrate the great gift of New Year’s Eve on Wednesday, let’s pause to think about the joy of being back at work after the holidays.

As many of us know, return to the office is a bad idea for many reasons. For starters, it gets in the way of workouts and sleep. If we decide to bring a laptop, it’s a challenge to use it effectively while working with a co-worker who’s off bopping around on a treadmill. And, of course, return to the office means using the same office toilet that your co-worker is going to.

But for some of us, returning to the office is unavoidable, and no better time than January to ask your boss what the boss wants of you.

Here’s what your boss would really like you to do, according to a CareerBuilder survey. (We included questions to help you find out what you’re really capable of if you had to pick one answer to those six.)

1. Tackle a new assignment: 59 percent

That one’s the general attitude of your boss. And, true enough, that may be the right answer for you, says John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Ask your boss to spot you for this, especially if you want to take on additional responsibility.

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2. Stay present in the room: 40 percent

Don’t beat yourself up if your boss forces you to turn on your telephone again today. You still owe him a call. And it may be the only chance you get to phone home. So be thankful for this.

3. Start doing projects as you lead them: 33 percent

It’s easy to get so immersed in this experience that you forget the business of the thing you’re doing. Repeat that phrase three times: “as you lead them.”

4. Get out of the office as often as possible: 25 percent

The above was classic question No. 5 from WorkPop, so I couldn’t think of one better. And this actually can happen, says career coach Jessica Izer. For most of us, it’s a function of what we’re doing or can do. But if you truly are able to exercise some independence from the office, it can also be helpful.

5. Get support: 21 percent

That’s why this is one of the most important tips from my boss. You can help strengthen your health, relieve stress and make sure your boss knows how much you appreciate him or her. Letting them know you want to make a positive impact on their company can be easy and rewarding in the short term and even long term.

6. Go with the flow: 21 percent

I know that everyone loves planning for different scenarios based on past performances and expectations, but not this one. More and more, employers expect employees to come in as they are, and then go with that. Sure, if you’re micromanaged or you have to sit in a dark room with two people for hours of video conference, maybe going with the flow is not the best move. But it’s best to have a warm and welcoming office environment where you feel you can relax.

This article was written by Eve Livingston for Washington Post Workplace Insider.

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