“Out of sight, out of mind.” It’s a cliché saying that we’ve all heard, but it is so true. In this current age of multiple tasks, activities, and priorities constantly vying for our attention, anything or anyone who is not “on the list” may not draw our eye. The same applies to people and relationships.  

A critical aspect of career growth and advancement is visibility – being known and noticed for the work you do and the contributions you make. It is often one of the key elements at the heart of employees getting growth opportunities (e.g., stretch assignments, special projects, meeting participation, etc.). In shifting to a hybrid environment that includes remote and “in-person” work within teams, one of the biggest risks for everyone is inequity in opportunity due to variances in visibility.

It’s likely many of us have already experienced this. Let’s consider an example. A firm functional team is having a meeting to discuss some important upcoming priorities.  Three team members are participating virtually while the other six are in person in a conference room.  As the team members in the room were getting organized before the meeting started, the team leader mentions to one of the Managers in the room that she just got off a phone call with a prospect and asks him if he would be interested in going to the meeting. The Manager agrees, and the meeting is set.  It’s a simple case of in sight, top of mind, and the power of presence.

Is this a new scenario? No.  These happenstance conversations and opportunities occurred many times prior to COVID; however, the significant increase in hybrid and remote work arrangements make them much more likely to occur with increased regularity in the future.  Did the team leader in this situation intentionally “leave out” the Managers working remotely? No. There is often an inherent bias to choose an expedient option and someone who is physically in your presence (if they are a reasonable choice) vs. slowing down to contemplate all the options and choosing someone who is not in your presence.  Out of sight. Out of mind.  

In addition, while this sounds like visibility is a one-sided, leadership or managerial issue, think again.  Employees must take ownership of their careers.  Career advancement and opportunities are earned.  They are not an entitlement.  Therefore, an employee who desires to have more growth or career opportunities must take steps to raise their visibility.  

To mitigate the risks, both parties must be purposeful.  

Consider these actions:   Leaders/Managers  

  • Be intentional about your visibility in connecting with and being accessible to others. 
  • Make a list of all team members without regard to location and integrate it strategically into your weekly planning.
    • Schedule regular, quick check-ins with each team member (10 -15 mins). Once a week is ideal. 
    • Review the list regularly and ask yourself who you’ve talked with, to whom you’ve provided growth opportunities, who you are engaging in conversation or problem-solving, who is engaging in activities or events.  Stop to think about each team member, situation, and opportunities.  Examine the equity. Look for gaps. Look for trends. Look for potential future actions. Keep the list on your radar.
    • Re-examine policies, processes, and meeting protocols in light of having a hybrid workforce and look for any that are biased toward being physically present vs. not.  


  • Be intentional about your visibility in connecting with and being accessible to others.
  • In meetings, speak up and actively participate. 
  • Initiate contact, build relationships, and have conversations with team leaders, managers, and your coach/mentor (e.g., feedback, career conversations, project status/updates, etc.).  
  • Show up. Take advantage of social events or other activities. 

Note that none of these actions require being present 100% of the time. Remote only and hybrid arrangements can work.  It simply takes work on both sides (leaders/managers and employees) to ensure that these arrangements are equitable and support career aspirations, growth, and goals.  

Because visibility is a career growth factor, we all must be cognizant of how it comes to play in our circumstances and of our influence over it. Leaders must always have their eye on talent, regardless of their working arrangements, and do everything they can to help that talent grow and develop. Employees who wish to advance their careers, must constantly be proactive and do everything within their control to ensure they are growing and developing.  Finally, we all need to take the initiative to manage our visibility and ensure that it is not left to chance.  Our collective success depends on it.