Five ways to stay visible while working from home
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Nearly 18 months ago, many of us were thrown into a then-foreign professional environment: working from home (WFH). And although some of us moved through the learning curve more quickly than others, generally, it’s been a level playing field for all members of the team when it comes to virtual visibility.
Now, as more organizations are re-opening their office space and doing so with new hybrid working models, we get to make a choice. We can either return to the office full-time or we can continue (at some level) to work remotely.
Sounds great, but there’s a catch. Even though there’s been a marked decrease in the previous stigma of WFH, 64% of managers still believe that in-office workers are higher performers than remote workers.
Fortunately, for those who choose to remain remote, there are a variety of ways to stay visible even though your in-office comrades have far more exposure to the boss and others.
Change the way you describe your situation.
When you think about or describe what you do as “working from home,” you’re focusing on the individuality and detachment of the situation. This may unconsciously lead you to slip into a pattern of limited communication and connection.
Instead, since you’re likely part of a larger group, think of yourself as a “remote teammate” or a “virtual collaborator.” Doing so will help keep top of mind the behaviors needed to stay visible within the team.
Avoid being “out of sight” or you’ll end up “out of mind.”
Yes, it’s a cliché phrase, but there’s some truth to it, which means you need to be physically visible as much as you can be. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make sure your video camera is turned on during virtual meetings (even if your in-office colleagues have theirs turned off).
You can also be seen by taking an occasional trip to the office—where geographically possible—to meet with your teammates.
Don’t let your relationships become distant.
Working from home means you’re missing out on organic, in-office, relationship-building opportunities. You know, those catch-up-in-the-breakroom conversations where you hear about your teammate’s vacation, new baby, etc.
But those are the very colleagues—the ones who feel a personal connection to you—who are most likely to advocate for you when you’re not in the room. WFH means you’ll need to be intentional about how to maintain the social aspect of your relationships. Virtual coffee, anyone?
Share your insights and achievements more widely.
You’ve worked hard! And, along the way, you gained subject matter knowledge, created best practices and learned invaluable lessons—all expertise you’ve likely shared with your team. But that’s only visibility on a small scale.
To broaden your visibility, find ways to broaden your audience. For example, if your company has a blog or Wiki for employees to post on, write about your insights and achievements. Or create your own blog and share it with colleagues.
Use video for more than just virtual meetings. Be creative!
When it comes to marketing, a video is 80% more effective than written material at making an impact. It stands to reason that the same would hold true for your virtual visibility as well.
Instead of, for example, always defaulting to writing emails with project updates, kudos for team members or those insights from above, opt to share that info by recording and sending a short video of yourself. There are several platforms, like Loom, that make it easy.
Great flexibility comes with WFH, but so, too, does great risk; risk that your contributions fade into the background, that you’re not believed to be as productive as your in-office counterparts or, worse, that you’re no longer seen as essential to the organization.
To mitigate these risks, it’s important to be intentional with your visibility efforts by creating and following through on a visibility strategy. If you do, you’ll ensure that you’re viewed as a valued contributor who makes a significant impact on your team’s success.