To get ahead in your career, people need to know who you are and what you’re capable of. But that’s impossible to achieve without visibility at work. While visibility is essential to advance professionally, the concept has been redefined over the last several years. With companies embracing hybrid and remote work, employees are more widely dispersed. As a result, it’s up to organizations to establish cultures of trust and transparency. That requires real-time data to gain insight into engagement, performance and productivity. Focusing on outcomes rather than effort will be the key to succeeding in this new professional world.
Unfortunately, proximity bias—when managers treat workers who are physically closer to them more favorably—remains a concern. Seventy-one percent of senior HR leaders and 62% of senior business leaders agree or strongly agree that on-site employees probably benefit from a proximity bias, according to the 2023 Future of Working and Learning Report. In another survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 67% of supervisors overseeing remote workers admitted believing remote employees are more replaceable than on-site workers. Forty-two percent even said they sometimes forget about remote workers when assigning tasks.
While organizations are responsible for creating inclusive workplace cultures, employees can take action to reduce proximity bias. Let’s examine some useful strategies to increase your visibility at work so you can take your career to the next level.
Participate in conversations
With Zoom fatigue becoming widespread, it’s tempting to want to turn off your camera and hide in the background during virtual meetings. But that’s not the way to get noticed. Instead, keep your camera on unless you are under the weather or in a distracting environment to increase face time with your team. Speak up and ask questions to show you are engaged. Another benefit to being an active participant is sharing facial expressions and non-verbal cues, which helps foster a sense of connection.
Show enthusiasm for learning
Demonstrating a willingness to learn is another way to show initiative and boost your visibility at work. Improving your skills and qualifications can also lead to raises, promotions and other advancement opportunities.
Some examples include:
- Participating in networking events
- Attending conferences, industry events, training or coaching sessions
- Earning certifications or enrolling in courses relevant to your role
- Staying on top of trends by reading industry blogs, subscribing to industry-specific newsletters, listening to podcasts and watching relevant videos
Volunteer for stretch assignments
Another method to improve your visibility at work is by volunteering for high-profile projects. But, again, be strategic and look for cross-functional assignments sponsored by senior leaders. That way, you can raise your profile beyond your immediate team while showing a commitment to collaboration. Just be sure to balance those activities with your day-to-day work, so you aren’t in danger of burning out.
Share the spotlight
Harry S. Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Visibility at work isn’t just about highlighting our own achievements. It’s also about sharing the spotlight with others. For example, you can recognize team members in a group setting or even over Slack, Twitter or LinkedIn. Sharing the credit strengthens team morale while enhancing company culture and building trust.
Establish a strong relationship with your manager
Your manager can be a valuable professional ally. In your next one-on-one, express interest in increasing your visibility at work. One idea is to ask to present at the next staff meeting or town hall. You’ll improve your public speaking skills while developing a reputation as a thought leader. Also, don’t be afraid to solicit feedback and ask your boss if they need help on any projects. You’ll form a more productive working relationship based on mutual respect by managing up.
While it pays to have strong supporters, you can’t always rely on your boss to call attention to your achievements. So instead, take the initiative and let yourself be seen. That way, when advancement opportunities come up, you’ll be one of the first to be considered.