By now, video calls are part and parcel of everyday work life, thanks to the new normal of hybrid work.
Yet, three years after the pandemic first forced people to get into a Zoom call, many still haven’t picked up on how to look their best or behave in an appropriate manner for a business call.
So, the folks at Poly, now newly part of HP, went to Debrett’s, a British company that coaches people on etiquette, to ask them for some tips. As part of a guide they put out, here are 10 tips to look great for that important video call with your boss or customer:
- Give a royal wave: Ending a video call can sometimes feel a bit awkward. To make calls feel more friendly and inclusive, you can soften the abrupt finality of pressing ‘End call’ by giving colleagues a wave goodbye.
- Avoid video motion sickness: Stay in a fixed position during video calls. Carrying your device while you answer the door or wander around the office during video calls risks giving your colleagues a bad dose of motion sickness.
- No meeting munchies: You should try to avoid eating – you don’t want people to focus on the contents of your lunch rather than what you’re saying. It’s preferable to eat before you join a meeting.
- Beware the danger of diversions: Your home is full of diversions. Be it domestic chores, the garden or visits to the fridge – it’s all too easy to wander around doing jobs or making snacks, which ultimately distracts you from your job and impacts your productivity.
- Eliminate virtual background clutter: Indulge in a little set-dressing before your call. Evaluate your video background. Try to eliminate chaotic bookshelves, discarded clothing, empty take-away containers and distracting artwork. You want your colleagues to focus on you, not your background.
- Say no to stoic sickness syndrome: Do not struggle into the office if you have got a cough or cold or anything contagious. Nobody will applaud your stoicism.
- No meeting multitasking: It’s inappropriate to multitask during meetings – for example, looking at your phone. It is also very bad form to carry on working while on a call; everybody will realise your mind is elsewhere and hear the incriminating clatter of your keyboard.
- Mute your work mates: Noise in the office can be distracting when joining calls. It’s quite acceptable to politely ask your colleagues to keep their voices down and to turn down their radio or music.
- Dress for success: People will choose to wear more relaxed, comfortable clothing when working from home, but it’s important to be aware of the psychological impact of truly letting yourself go. Aim to dress as if you are in the room with other meeting attendees.
- Embrace long pauses: Don’t be alarmed by long pauses during meetings and scramble to fill them with chatter; they are an invaluable way of giving people space to interject or expound.
Sounds pretty commonsensical? Then the next time you get on a call, see if you are able to follow as many of these 10 tips as possible!
Anything else missing in the list? Share this in the comments!