Why Personal Branding Still Matters When Working Remotely

After a year of sweatpants, endless Zoom calls and homeschooling, the days of commuting, in-person presentations and lunch time with colleagues seem like memories of a distant past. It’s been a period of transition, and without a doubt, the way we collaborate and show up in the virtual space has changed. Fast-forward to now, and experts say that building and maintaining a personal brand while working remotely still matters.

So, what is a personal brand? “Whether we like it or not, we all have a personal brand,” says Monique Bryan, a Toronto-based personal branding coach. According to Bryan, a personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. “It’s your promise that at every touch point, people will have the same experience with you.”

Despite being given a pass in the first year of COVID, first impressions still count, too, says Bryan. “People judge you within the first six seconds of meeting you. That’s just human nature,” she says. Thankfully, with the help of items like ring lights and monitor risers, it can be easy to show up as our best selves.

Working on the following pillars can help you build a personal brand suitable for virtual collaboration styles now and in the future:


Working on your personal style isn’t exclusive to your wardrobe (think: wall décor, contemporary furniture and stylish desk accessories), but fashion isn’t to be overlooked. “Our clothes are our self-expression, and when we look good, we feel good and will show up to work as that person,” says Bryan. “Sometimes we need material things like clothes to help us. Confidence is a daily practice.” Montreal-based Raphael Tomaszewski, Design Director, Women, at RW&CO agrees: “At RW&CO, we’re not in the business of just clothes, we’re in the business of selling confidence,” he says. The company has started to see a trend for tops becoming increasingly more important to customers. As a result, RW&CO has taken remote work clothing preferences into account when planning out new collections. Think: elevated loungewear and basics, and multifunctional, versatile pieces. “The workplace has evolved, and we’ve spent countless hours adapting and reacting to it,” says Tomaszewski.

Personal Brand

When it comes to a personal brand, Bryan says that one of the biggest mistakes employees make is not working on their online presence on an ongoing basis. “Whether you’re looking for a job or not, you should have an updated LinkedIn profile,” she says. “Working on your digital footprint can help you with promotions or even transitioning to another job.” Another factor to consider is to think before you post online and how it might affect the business you work for. Not only could this impact your current position, but future opportunities as well, says Bryan.


When setting up your space, Bryan says it’s important to have a minimal backdrop when appearing on-camera, while keeping it true to you. Add personal style by propping a shelf with some bright artwork, a faux plant, a globe, or lightbox with a fun message. If you have a colour you’re known for, ensure it makes an appearance. Keep things efficient by having the tools on hand that will set you up for success on calls, such as wireless headphones, a webcam with a ring light, and a comfortable task chair. No dedicated workspace? No problem. “Now more than ever, it’s easy to cover up your personal space by using a green screen,” says Bryan. “And when in doubt, just drop in a fake background from Zoom or Teams.”

By Staples Canada

June 21, 2021

sbhq sliver en