How to increase visibility at work as a remote worker
Last updated on: October 27, 2022
Do you struggle with achieving visibility at work?
Do you worry your hard work and effort are slipping under the radar?
Do you fear that shining a light on your accomplishments may seem like you are bragging?
You understand that visibility in the workplace plays a key role in fostering your engagement and productivity, yet you’re not sure exactly how to achieve it?
You’re not alone.
Many professionals (myself included) often struggle to walk the fine line between falling into complete anonymity and coming across as a try-hard.
This is especially challenging for remote workers, who may find it more difficult to raise their profile and showcase their accomplishments in a virtual environment.
Joblist reports that 38% of remote employees have gone above and beyond to increase their visibility at work, while 36% share having a “visibility strategy” in place for better remote recognition.
So, how do you increase visibility at work and get the recognition and opportunities you deserve?
We’ll reveal some useful strategies in this blog post.
What is visibility in the workplace?
Employee visibility essentially means getting recognition for your contribution and being included in all relevant company conversations and decisions.
Understandably, this definition has gotten new meaning as organizations have started to shift to a remote work environment.
In a traditional, in-office setting, employee visibility is pretty much a given, as it usually doesn’t require additional effort to get noticed and included when you have regular in-person interaction with your coworkers, boss, and teammates.
Now, visibility at work can look quite different for remote workers — especially if they work in hybrid teams that have at least some percentage of the workforce operating on-site.
So, remote workers may feel left out of important company conversations and experience serious employee visibility problems — from fewer opportunities to meet and interact with coworkers and not feeling included in the company culture, to experiencing potential technical challenges.
What’s more, a study of 1,100 employees reveals that some of the effects of lower visibility of remote employees may not only include feeling left out, but also feeling bad-mouthed by coworkers.
Why is visibility at work a challenge when working from home?
A remote work setting may be extremely challenging for employees looking to increase visibility at work. These may include the following challenges.
Challenge #1: Fewer opportunities for staying top of mind
Remote work, in general, allows less room for employees to share achievements and increase their visibility in the workplace.
This is largely determined by the organizational remote work policy and company culture — however, the remote work model by default poses a challenge in this area.
Challenge #2: Remote communication challenges
Insufficient or ineffective internal communication largely impacts employee visibility for remote workers.
A lack of effective communication channels where employees can post project updates and milestones can make them feel invisible and underappreciated.
Moreover, teams operating across time zones may find it even harder to increase visibility at work — due to inefficient communication.
Challenge #3: Limited access to resources, information, and infrastructure
Remote workers are more likely to feel left out of key company conversations due to a lack of access to vital information and resources.
A lack of organizational commitment to a remote-first model that promotes equal access for all team members to all company information and infrastructure is often the main cause of this remote employee visibility challenge.
Challenge #4: Less room for connection between team members
With fewer opportunities for in-person interaction and organic, casual conversations, remote teams may experience a disconnect with their coworkers.
As your workday starts to revolve around work only, you begin to overlook the basic human need for social interaction.
Work relationships and getting to know each other on a more personal level through shared interests become less feasible — which only adds to feeling less visible and connected.
How can I increase my visibility working from home?
The problem of remote employee visibility is only amplified by the fact that remote workers are less likely to outwardly seek more visibility.
Although aware of the potential challenges and employee visibility issues, most people don’t want to risk looking like they’re trying too hard to get noticed and acknowledged.
As we mentioned earlier, remote workers need to find the right balance between feeling completely invisible and being self-congratulating and braggy about their accomplishments and efforts.
The next part of the article will help you reach this balance through actionable tips on how best to increase visibility at work whether you’re working in-office, fully remote, or in a hybrid arrangement.
Keep your camera on during meetings
One of the often overlooked ways of increasing your visibility at work is having your camera on during work meetings.
Remote workers are often more comfortable with their cameras off during work calls.
They can relax in their comfy setup and don’t have to stress over their appearance.
However, although comfortable, this practice lowers your chances of increasing your workplace visibility. Without actual face-time with your teammates, management, or coworkers, you risk getting reduced to just a name and an avatar.
On the other hand, people that attend meetings with their cameras on are more likely to get more visibility and better recognition.
So, try to keep your camera on during all meetings to increase visibility at work — and help people connect the name to the face.
Show your face more often
Similarly, it’s important to get as much face time in general when you’re working on raising your profile at work.
Regular face time — research shows — positively impacts your work relationships and career advancement.
This comes as no surprise, as a visual element is an important part of how people assess and memorize things and perceive other people.
To get more face time with your superiors and colleagues as a remote worker, consider dropping by the office occasionally, if possible. This way, you’ll remind everyone you’re an important part of the team and you’ll also build better relationships at work.
If your team uses a business messaging app, like Pumble, change the generic avatar illustration with your actual profile photo to help your teammates and superiors remember your face.
Take part in conversations
Internal communication is another key factor that can help increase your visibility at work.
Contributing to team conversations during meetings or in team chat apps is a great way to increase visibility at work as both a remote and on-site worker.
However, speaking up during meetings and getting your voice and opinion heard is a skill that needs some perfecting before you start sharing just for the sake of sharing. After all, you don’t want to produce a countereffect and get a bad rep as being annoying or braggy.
Consider taking a more strategic approach instead, to get the right kind of attention and recognition.
When participating in company conversations, ensure that your thoughts, ideas, and words contribute real value to the conversation.
- Get the information you need. Go over the meeting agenda and prepare questions, insights, or potential challenges you would like to discuss. The same applies in the case of a team chat app conversation — before replying, read the conversation thread and do a quick research about the topic discussed.
- Listen as much as you contribute. Make sure to listen, read, and weigh out all the pros and cons before you decide to speak or post in a thread.
- Be assertive. Don’t forget to apply the rules of assertive communication and business chat etiquette to ensure you’re making a professional impression.
- Start conversations. Don’t hesitate to initiate conversations or ask well-thought-out questions.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
For more on how to get the right message across at work, be sure to check out our blog post on the topic:
Align your work schedule with your teammates’
Timing is everything — and nobody understands this better than remote workers that juggle multitasking across multiple roles on a regular basis.
We all understand the importance of regular communication and collaboration when working on increasing our visibility at work. This is how we get noticed and recognized by our managers, and it also improves relationship-building with our coworkers.
However, it’s equally important to mind the timing of these conversations.
To increase your visibility in the workplace, try to have as much of the communication and collaboration you engage in happen in real-time.
This will ensure your efforts get instantly noticed and recognized by your coworkers and managers. Real-time communication and collaboration will keep you in the loop with everything that’s going on, and provide immediate feedback and access to shared files and information.
Consider syncing your hours with your teammates and managers to ensure everyone is up to date on vital tasks and projects.
This can be particularly challenging for teams working across time zones. In that case, try to schedule bi-weekly catch-up sessions at a time that works for all team members.
Another great way to optimize communication and collaboration with teams across time zones is to make sure to always keep your availability status updated to let your coworkers know when to expect your response.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
In addition to improving individual remote visibility, coordinated teamwork also promotes better team connectivity and better relationship building — read more about keeping remote teams connected on our blog:
Sign up for high-value projects
Demonstrating a proactive approach is a quick and powerful way to get noticed by decision-makers and increase your visibility at work.
Of course, this doesn’t mean applying for every project or task and stretching yourself too thin.
As always, try to be strategic about it and find opportunities where your particular skills would be useful, and ensure it fits within your weekly or daily schedule.
Be sure to identify high-value and high-visibility tasks before you volunteer to get involved.
Signing up to participate in cross-department projects is a great way to increase your visibility beyond your team and demonstrate your commitment to collaborative work.
You can, for example, volunteer to help a teammate out when they ask for assistance in a team chat. This is a perfect win-win for promoting teamwork and getting on your superior’s radar at the same time.
Set healthy boundaries
If left unchecked, going above and beyond to increase visibility at work can lead to burnout and quiet quitting.
It’s important to find the right balance between showing up and doing your best work to increase visibility at work and pushing yourself up to the point of exhaustion.
Before you know it, you can find yourself in a position where doing the bare minimum and disengaging from your work completely — or quiet quitting — becomes your regular routine.
And while there’s a lot to be said about the role organizations and management play in this problem, it’s important to first make sure you’re doing your best to prevent this scenario.
Consider applying the following constructive methods to keep your work-life balance and increase visibility:
- Speak with your manager. Instead of staying quiet, go the opposite route and ask for regular one-on-one meetings with your superior. Use these opportunities to discuss your challenges and ask for feedback.
- Take a break. Using your time off to rest and recharge can improve your performance and engagement at work.
- Communicate your availability. Set your status and mute notifications to set clear expectations concerning your availability outside work hours.
- Take care of your mental and physical health. To prevent burnout, be sure to stay active and find healthy ways to deal with stress.
- Create meaning and purpose at work. To boost your engagement, try to find what motivates you about your job. This could be anything from your work relationships or how your work contributes to the larger picture, to financial reward.
Instead of jumping on the popular pessimistic bandwagon of “visibility doesn’t pay the bills”, try to take a more active role in setting better boundaries. After all, you can always quit the regular way in case none of these work.
Share regular updates
Sharing your updates regularly is another great way to increase visibility at work and get the recognition you deserve.
However, this is the part where it can get tricky to find the right balance and not come across as a braggart. While it’s perfectly reasonable to want to share regular updates and inform your team and management on progress and important achievements — it can seem like you’re trying too hard.
To avoid getting labeled as a showoff, consider focusing on the impact and value for the entire project or team, instead of presenting it solely as your own accomplishment.
For example, you can use a dedicated channel in Pumble to post a quick update and get everyone involved notified. Pay attention to phrasing to make sure you emphasize the overall value, instead of being overly self-promotional.
Therefore, instead of using “I” and “my”, focus on the results — use “finished”, “delivered”, “solved” and “achieved” in your announcement, for example. That way, you’re communicating your accountability and achievements more indirectly — which helps you avoid negative attention.
To showcase your knowledge and commitment to learning, you can also share:
- Interesting stats,
- Useful findings, or
- Relevant reads.
CEO and founder at Growmotely, Sarah Hawley, shares a similar opinion:
“It takes a little time, but it’s worthwhile developing the habit of communicating updates regularly on the things you’ve been working on. Especially progress updates or simple FYIs, as it’s easy to be head-down working and forget that others, who may be excited for / waiting on what you’re doing and have no idea where it’s at unless they ask.”
Build a strong working relationship with your manager
There’s hardly anything as valuable as having the support of your manager when working to increase visibility at work. A supportive manager can amplify your visibility in front of decision makers, guide you, and support your career growth.
Whether or not your manager already acts as a great support system for you and your teammates, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your working relationship.
- Initiate communication. Use your one-on-one meetings or company chat and conferencing tools to ask for suggestions on how you can improve your performance, contribution to the team, and visibility.
- Show initiative to take on new and challenging projects. Request to participate in high-value and high-visibility projects.
- Ask for ideas and opportunities to add value to your team, project, or organization.
- Ask for regular feedback. Explicit, meaningful, regular, and constructive feedback helps you develop a more transparent relationship with your manager. Regular open conversations will help your manager better understand and support your growth and visibility.
Demonstrate your commitment to learning
Learning and investing time in your professional development is another critical aspect of improving your visibility at work.
Moreover, unlocking new skills and knowledge will also help boost your motivation and engagement at work.
Here are some ways you can show your enthusiasm for learning:
- Take on any opportunity to attend in-house seminars, training, or coaching sessions.
- Request participation in relevant professional development programs and networking events. If there are no relevant programs available at your company at the moment, look up other affordable resources.
- Share what you learned with your manager and team and suggest some ideas on how to apply the new information to improve the team’s performance, output, and processes.
- Ask to participate in projects and tasks that reflect your newly acquired skills and knowledge.
Spotlight the achievements of others
When working to increase visibility at work, be sure not to forget to share the spotlight with others, especially those who helped you along the way.
Share the credit with people you collaborated with on a project and highlight your teammates’ efforts and achievements.
This can be anything — for example:
- A mention in a relevant channel in your company team chat,
- A shoutout at a team meeting, or
- An email to your manager and relevant stakeholders.
By sharing credit and elevating others, you create a more encouraging culture that prioritizes uplifting others.
Get involved in company events
Although your work engagement and achievements are the most critical elements of your visibility at work, it’s essential to know that your off-work effort also counts.
To let your non-work personality shine, consider getting involved in extracurricular activities your company is organizing.
Use your non-work-related skills to represent your company or your team in a regional corporate challenge (such as running a marathon), or help organize a fundraiser event, for example.
Pick an event you feel most comfortable in and get some instant recognition.
Apart from increasing your overall visibility, social events are great ways to connect with others — while contributing to a good cause or overall company brand image.
Career change and personal branding strategist at ILUMITY, Joseph Liu, highlights active participation at conferences as one of the most powerful ways to increase your visibility:
“Proactively volunteering to speak at well-attended organizational meetings or conferences can quickly increase your visibility across the entire organization.”
Contribute to virtual water-cooler conversations
Apart from improving team collaboration and communication, team chat apps are perfect for staying in touch with your coworkers and building team spirit.
Communicating across different channels in team chat apps lets you stay visible and connected to your coworkers.
You can get to know each other better through shared interests or other fun topics via threads in the #random channel in Pumble, for example.
Or, you can create any number of other topic-specific channels and organize your conversations around your favorite books, movies, sports, or games.
As remote workers, we are getting more accustomed to working from home and spending those lunch breaks alone or — if we are lucky — with our family members.
However, there are certain topics, inside jokes, or specific situations that only our coworkers can find relatable. In-office workers get most of these social needs met via watercooler chats or coffee breaks, whereas remote workers are usually left to create their own virtual informal conversation opportunities.
Consider becoming a regular contributor to these informal channels in your team messaging app to increase your visibility. You can:
- Share your picks for best reads,
- Post funny videos of your dog, or
- Recommend great local restaurants for colleagues visiting your area.
Although these contributions won’t directly affect your visibility at work, they are a significant testament to your sense of belonging to the company culture and your commitment to the team community.
How leaders can promote employee visibility
When it comes to employee visibility, there’s only so much employees can do on their own. The majority of the visibility issues stem from leadership and organizational decisions and policies.
A lack of adequate incentives or encouragement on sharing regular updates, for example, can result in poor employee visibility.
And vice versa — a comprehensive and defined visibility plan can promote better employee recognition.
Let’s get a closer look at how leaders and managers can build better opportunities for employee visibility.
Provide support from day one
According to one of our regular expert contributors, Bill Catlette, a Partner at Contented Cow Partners, employee visibility and productivity is achieved through continual support that starts from the first day of the integration process:
“When people are not fully acclimated and absorbed into the work environment, it can take them much longer to assimilate, achieve trust, and become fully productive.”
Catlette suggests a three-step process companies can apply to ensure new hires are getting the right amount of support in their first year:
“1. Invest considerable time and resources in the introductory period to put the new worker, their unit leader, and some of their coworkers into the same physical (not virtual) space. Socialization and bonding go a long way to establishing trust and reducing uncertainty, things that pay dividends as the individual proceeds with their new job and inculcates as a team member.
2. Following the introductory period, the team leader and a few of the new team member’s coworkers should pay particular attention to check in with them on a regular basis to support them and further build the relationship.
3. At quarterly intervals during the first year of employment, an HR professional should further touch base with the new staffer to verify that things are proceeding satisfactorily and to gain feedback on the inculcation process.”
Foster an environment of open communication
If you notice employees start to disengage, try not to fall into the passive-aggressive trap, also known as quiet firing.
Quiet quitting and quiet firing are mutually correlated, therefore you can use the same strategies to prevent both.
Instead of letting your employees slip into deeper disengagement by reducing their work and feedback, try applying more constructive methods to help them get back on track and find purpose and engagement in their work.
- Create a safe space for transparent communication. Let your employees know you can have difficult conversations in an open and effective way.
- Instruct and train managers and leaders to initiate these conversations.
- Help employees revisit their motivation, meaning, and purpose that made them start their job in the first place. Help them realize how their work contributes to the company’s goals and mission.
- Make sure your values are aligned. Ask employees to share their values and help them understand how they align with the company’s core values.
Offer M.O.R.E. to employees
To find out more about the connection between employee visibility and motivation, we reached out to Matthew Gilbert, Lecturer of Marketing at Wall College of Business Administration.
We asked him about the potential connection between remote employees’ struggle to maintain visibility and the growing issue of quiet quitting.
Gilbert believes the majority of responsibility for employee engagement and visibility lies in the “why” instead of the “where” of their jobs.
“It can be argued that remote workers are actually less likely to quietly quit — assuming, of course, they’re provided flexibility along with a sense of community. For many, the option to work remotely is a positive, not a negative.
The real reasons for quiet quitting run much deeper. People have a need to feel appreciated, emotionally connected to, and rewarded by their work. In the absence of these ingredients, the recipe for productivity will never be realized. Even the most internally motivated employee wants to feel like they’re making a difference.”
He then goes on to propose a solution every successful manager needs to consider to build better relationships with employees and support their visibility and motivation:
“A successful manager must reach out to employees individually and offer them M.O.R.E:
- Meaning: Employees must be informed about the reasons behind decisions.
- Opportunity: Access to advancement is paramount to motivating employees, especially during exceptionally challenging times or projects.
- Respect: Demonstrating appreciation for an employee’s ideas and actions is one of the best, most easily accomplished ways to build their trust and fuel motivation.
- Empowerment: Authorizing employees to make decisions (that managers will respect) is a key component to facilitating their motivation.”
Ensure equal access to all resources
Without the proper definition and regulation, remote workspaces can become toxic places for employees.
Hybrid teams are especially vulnerable in this regard — with insufficient initiatives to create equal access and support for both remote and on-site workers.
To better support both remote and in-office teams, decision-makers and leaders need to ensure all employees are allowed equal access to company information, conversations, and resources.
One of the most convenient ways to enable equal access to all team members is to use adequate collaboration tools, specifically designed to facilitate remote work arrangements.
As one of the multifunctional remote-friendly tools, Pumble, for example, allows diverse functionalities to keep remote teams in sync.
Remote teams can use it as a default communication channel to streamline all internal and external communication. Moreover, it supports seamless file sharing and advanced search options to ensure a user-friendly collaborative environment.
Encourage face time during meetings
In addition to promoting productivity and collaboration, managing remote teams requires prioritizing specific best practices and solutions to ensure maximum employee visibility.
One such practice includes encouraging everyone to keep their cameras on during virtual meetings.
This allows employees to feel seen — literally and figuratively — which helps level out the playing field between remote and in-office workers.
Moreover, face time in video meetings can also have a positive impact on overall team communication. Video meetings introduce the elements of visual communication, which help team members pick up on non-verbal cues. This reduces the risks of misunderstandings or miscommunication in team communication and empowers collaboration.
Regularly seeing their teammates also allows remote employees to build a sense of closeness and relatability, which can help shift the organization towards a more inclusive remote-first culture.
Promote asynchronous collaboration
To allow equal visibility opportunities to all team members across different time zones, team leaders and decision-makers need to embrace asynchronous collaboration.
This may sound counterintuitive to previous points that focus on the importance of synchronous communication for remote employee visibility.
However, asynchronous collaboration can perfectly complement joint efforts toward better remote visibility — especially in teams operating across time zones.
Equal visibility opportunities in this regard imply remote teams keep everything documented and accessible to all team members in a shared channel in a team messaging app, for example.
In addition, organizations need to be mindful not to finalize any important decision until every relevant team member gets a chance to weigh in asynchronously.
Give credit where credit is due
Managers can also acknowledge individual and team efforts by giving credit where credit is due.
You can publicly recognize a team or an individual in a dedicated channel in a team chat app.
In Pumble, for example, you can mention the employee who closed an important deal in a thread dedicated to the latest sales team report.
Or, you can congratulate an entire team for exceptional results in the #general channel.
Apart from boosting individual and team visibility before leadership, this practice also serves to motivate better performance across the company.
Monitor and respond to conversations and questions in the team chat
To help your team feel noticed and acknowledged, be sure to take time to engage in team conversations.
You can regularly check your team channel in a business messaging app to answer any question and help resolve potential issues.
If a specific thread doesn’t require further conversation, you can react with an emoji to acknowledge you’ve read the message.
A remote business environment requires overcommunication and more engagement to compensate for the lack of in-person interaction. And, a team leader’s role is instrumental to how remote team members experience visibility, guidance, and support.
Wrapping up: Remote visibility requires showing up and letting yourself be seen
When looking to gain more recognition at work, employees need to find the right balance between a genuine display of their contribution and outright self-promotion.
Moreover, employees need better boundaries, more balance, and the right support from managers to prevent burnout and quiet quitting.
Use these strategies to increase your visibility at work:
- Keep your camera on in meetings.
- Show your face more often
- Take part in conversations.
- Synchronize your work schedule with your team.
- Sign up for high-value projects.
- Set healthy boundaries.
- Share regular updates.
- Build a strong working relationship with your manager.
- Demonstrate your commitment to learning.
- Spotlight the achievements of others.
- Get involved in company events.
- Contribute to informal conversations.
✉️ What about you? Have you experienced challenges with increasing your visibility at work? What are your key tips and takeaways? Do you have any additional tips on how to improve visibility at work? Let us know at email@example.com and we may include your answers in this or one of our future posts. And, if you liked this post and found it useful, share it with someone you think would benefit from it.