Although everyone understands the current need, the concept of working from home is quite different from office life, especially when it comes to meetings. In particular, it is harder to master the art of projecting your professional image, especially through a screen.
At the end of the day, you want to be able to show to your colleagues and immediate team members that location plays no difference in your work focus and productivity. To achieve just that, here are some helpful tips and mannerisms to carry your meeting from the conference room to the screen.
1. No keyboards, no multi-tasking.
The sound of typing can be distracting, preventing you from giving full attention to the meeting and speaker. If you want to take notes, it’s easier to pick up a headset and then use your keyboard to type or just use a good old-fashioned pen and paper.
2. Get dressed, your appearance matters
Take the time to throw on a clean shirt and brush your hair (and teeth!). The ritual of putting on clothes and getting ready mentally prepares you for a virtual meeting, plus it’s always good to show respect for your team.
3. Angle your camera just right so you have a clear face, clean space, and background.
To stay professional while you’re still working from home there should tidiness. That means that beds should stay out of sight, clutter from your closet should remain hidden, you should make sure that pets and other residents in your home will not distract from the meeting, and of course, hide anything you don’t want your colleagues or clients to see.
4. Mute your microphone when you are not talking.
If you forget to do this, you’ll experience the uncomfortable wrath of echoes and feedback. Plus, if you’re working in an open space, it will keep the background noise at bay. Also, in larger group meetings it can be a handy cue that you have something to contribute when they see or hear you come off mute.
5. Say hello when you first enter the call.
After the ding or notification that signals you’ve entered, it’s odd to not stick to social criteria and be friendly.
6. Speak up
It is better to over-communicate than to under-communicate. However, while you explain it is also important to speak loudly. Your colleagues probably have different volume settings and it’s always better not to strain their hearing. Just make sure everyone has the same opportunity to contribute – over call it can be harder to pick up on the cues of when someone wants to talk.
7. No food and no eating.
This rule seems pretty clear as it’s very rude to stuff your face with food while you are speaking anyway, but even more so when discussing important business matters. It’s always better to have a small snack before the meeting if you feel like you’re getting hungry.
8. If others have their camera on, your camera should be on too.
It looks bad if you’re on a video call with several of your teammates and their cameras are all on and yours is off. Again, it is a reflection of your professional image and could give the impression that you’re a slacker, didn’t even get out of bed, didn’t get dressed — it’s not a nice picture. Just don’t forget that you’re on camera.