I currently work at Salesforce full-time and while I do have a designated desk in our Chicago office, I do consider myself a remote employee with flexible working options. This means that I have the opportunity to work from the office or from home (or a cute coffee shop) at my own leisure. I enjoy having the option as I think there are benefits to both, so I find that I work remotely typically 2-3 days out of the workweek. This is because my team is scattered across the United States, Brazil and Mexico and I don’t have any direct teammates in Chicago with me.
It’s important to note that Salesforce has a large employee base of people who work remotely 100% of the time. Salesforce does a phenomenal job of ensuring its remote employees feel connected to the company and one of those ways is through virtual meetings and webinars. I recently joined a webinar dedicated to remote employees titled “Building a Killer Brand By Showing Up…Remotely!” with Salesforce’s Director of Enablement Programs. I’ve been a proponent of building your personal brand in the workplace, so this webinar really spoke to me.
If you work remotely, how do you show up as an employee at your company? What does the way you present yourself virtually say about you? How can you make a good impression to help you build your personal brand and build your influence? These are just some of the questions that were touched on and answered during the webinar. A lot of what was discussed was so intriguing and helpful, so I furiously took notes so that I could share them with you!
Get to Know & Own Your Personal Brand
One of the most crucial aspects of building a personal brand as a remote employee is not just being visible and turning on your webcam, but showing up consistently and professionally to make a strong positive impression. Jeff Bezos of Amazon has said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Get a sense of what your personal brand is in the workplace. You can get an understanding by seeing how others introduce you on calls or in-person and through feedback you receive. I’d even recommend asking people outright how they would describe you.
Once you know how others perceive you, you can work to amplify the positives and work on the more constructive items noted.
Choose Video Over Only Audio
As a remote employee, you should always be turning on your camera when you have meetings. It’s important that people get to know you beyond your voice. Having your camera off actually can leave you at a disadvantage, especially if you work at a big company like Salesforce where there are employees going into an office environment and are able to have that face to face interaction. Going on webcam is really how you “show up” and people are able to get to know you on a more personal level.
Pay Attention to How You Present Yourself
Be in tune with how you present yourself as a remote employee. You should treat every meeting you have like you are going into a conference room at an office. What this means is you should be and look professional when you are joining calls and turning on your camera. One trick of the trade I’ve learned is to do my hair and makeup and dress myself up nice from the top up but then wear comfy bottoms (because really, who can see those anyway?!).
It’s good to be mindful of your body language, facial expressions and eye contact. Make sure you’re staying actively engaged on the calls. Avoid getting distracted or multi-tasking so you can stay present and focused. This will only give other employees a positive impression of you.
Be Aware of Your Environment
In addition to paying attention to how you present yourself, make sure you’re also aware of your environment. When you’re on calls/webcam, make sure to not be in a place with a noisy background (when you can help it), as it’s distracting for others on the call.
For example, I’ve been on calls with remote employees who are at a noisy coffee shop or are at home with dogs barking and it can be very difficult to hear them speak. The mute button is great for those scenarios! Also, make sure to always have a steady internet and phone connection to avoid disruptions.
Also just for laughs, during the webinar, this YouTube video was shared and I cried laughing at how accurate it is.
Learn the Art of Self-Promotion
This wasn’t outrightly talked about on the call, but one I’ve found helpful in doing to raise my profile as a remote employee. You have to learn the art of self-promotion as a remote employee. Promoting yourself at work is critical to excelling in your career, especially if you’re not in a physical office alongside leadership or your manager who can see the work that you are doing. If there’s anything I’ve learned since working at Salesforce, it’s that self-promotion is a key piece of career growth and recognition. It’s a surefire way to show up at work in a positive way.
When you receive positive feedback from a client or a co-worker let’s say, make sure you’re documenting that and then sharing it out with your manager and team when it makes sense. Utilize chat forums, emails etc. to share your wins and any learnings you’ve had recently so you can gain visibility and boost your personal brand in the workplace. This will ultimately help when it comes time for promotion conversations too!
Proactively Connect with Teammates, Peers & Leaders
It’s more important than anything as a remote employee to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level. Make the effort to proactively connect with them and learn more about them and their lives outside of work. This will ultimately help you develop deeper relationships beyond the surface level work conversations despite the fact that you’re a remote employee!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, events host, speaker, and founder of Lipstick & Ink®, a career and wellness organization aimed to motivate female 9-5ers and side hustlers to own their power and make their mark. In addition to her writing and career consulting experience with L&I®, Kelly works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce. She is also in the process of writing her first book.
Kelly has landed coverage in print and broadcast outlets including Thrive Global, International Association of Women, General Assembly, TheGlu, SheFactor, EvolveHer, Cliquish, and Six Degrees Society.