I ran into a girl who works in our department last week and actually thought to myself, "Wow, I didn't know she still worked here."
I can't imagine this is a good thing. In any way. At any time.
If people haven't seen your face in so long that they think perhaps you don't work there any more, you have got to be doing something horribly wrong.
Like not eating your lunch in the lunch room occasionally, like not grabbing a coffee with a co-worker every so often, like not speaking up in any meetings, like not walking through the department like, ever.
People! Showing your face is the easiest career move you can make. Do Not Hibernate! Do Not Hide in Your Cube! Do Not Keep Quiet! Once you realize that a face seen is a face remembered (especially with the upper ranks) you start to steer your career in a better direction.
I say this because I know there are some people who wonder why they've never been promoted, it's because they've spent too much time blended into the background that no one recalls they exist!
Purposely I walk into my building through the front door every day. Why? It's a longer route to my desk. I do it because it ups my chances of being seen (well partly, we also have the coolest f-ing lobby on the planet, as described in this post).
What are my chances of running into the CEO in the back stairwell? ZERO. What are my chances of having a chat with the CFO, CMO or C-whoever in the back stairwell? NIL. What are my chances of running into any one of these folks -- and being seen -- in the lobby? Higher. Much higher.
Now I know it is not just a matter of seeing your face to help you get ahead but I can assure you when the upper ranks are making decisions on staffing, their ability to recall you, your face AND your work performance is key. If they don't even know you, well then, they don't even know you.