THE BLOG
08/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Does Face Time Matter?

I came across this article on WSJ.com (Does Avoiding a 9-to-5 Grind Make You a Target for Layoffs?) and feel compelled to put in my two cents. The fact of the matter is YES. If there's one thing you need to be in this troubling economy it's seen. Out of sight = out of mind = out of a job, fast.

Read my virtual lips: Face time is golden. Here are some tips for part-timers and telecommuters to keeping their jobs secure.

Take advantage of technology.
You have to be truly accessible. When you're not physically in the office during business hours, be visible on IM, speak up on conference calls, and send and respond to e-mails early in the morning or late in the evening. Invest in a BlackBerry or another technology solution that will help you stay in touch. Go so far as setting up a webchat softwear like Skype in the office conference room so you can actually "attend" conference calls while you're away. (And P.S., stick to the dress code on video calls. No one wants the mental image of you lounging in your yoga wear while they're tugging at their tight skirts. )

Show up when you can.
If you've got a light afternoon and can easily make it to an in-person meeting, do it. And while you're at it, stay for lunch. Or, if your evening plans include only your bunny slippers and your cat, hang at the office till 6:45 to outlast the boss. Doesn't hurt to earn some points!

Make tangible contributions. If you were to take a few days' vacation would anyone notice? If not, you're royally screwed. Your contribution from day to day should be evident, and to the right people. If you're not in consistent contact with your managers, create a way to make that happen, whether by stepping up for a big project or volunteering to help someone else with their work.

Keep your schedule transparent.
If you work from home part of the time, your schedule should stay fairly fixed. Tell your manager where you'll be and when, and shoot a quick email if plans change. Bottom line: Never make anyone ask, "Hey, where's Sara?"