Title Card - Taking Meetings From Home

Taking Meetings From Home

In the age of telework, more and more people are finding it much more comfortable to work from home. No commutes, no gas, lower insurance, and more time to get things done during the day. Sometimes though, we can get a little too comfortable.

Think about the last meetings you took from home. Did you present yourself in the same way you would have if you had been face-to-face with the same people in the office? I’m not just talking about the infamous “pajamas on the bottom” style many of us have taken to doing, out of sight is almost certainly out of mind in this case (unless you happen to stand up). I mean the things like your clothing on top, makeup, or styling your hair. Did you put in the same effort?

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Many of my meetings take place with our webcams off, why would I go to all of that trouble?” But for the grand majority of us, I can guarantee you that there was almost certainly a time when you went into a meeting and discovered that someone’s camera was on, and you felt somewhat pressured to turn it on as well. Suddenly you’re sitting there with your hoodie or t-shirt in front of a boss who is still dressed for the camera, and you wonder why you didn’t go to that effort.

Now, I’m not saying I am the end-all and be-all of dressing up for the camera. I have been camera lazy on countless occasions where I expected I’d have very few or no meetings in the day. There are even some instances when I have been caught that way. And while it probably wouldn’t do you harm since there may be a good chance that the person on the other side of the camera is similarly dressed, you’re already going in with a potential disadvantage.

I do understand that as a man talking about both sexes, I have little understanding of how much work goes into putting on a full face of makeup and styling your hair every single day, but there is a hybrid here. At least for the time being, webcams are definitely not the clearest of instruments in the home office these days, and there is a high likelihood that yours will also not pick up the greatest amount of detail. As a result, I would probably imagine that with a little bit of trial and error, you could probably do less work and achieve similar results for your webcam.

Let’s imagine our scenarios here. If you and your boss turn on your webcams and you are both casual, no real harm done, but if they come on in business attire, they may not say anything, but they might quietly take note. This results in a negative opinion at worst and a neutral one at best. If we imagine the opposite scenario, they may still be neutral if you both dress up, but you may also leave a positive impression if you end up being the stand-out. You may still be the stand-out if you’re the only one of your team consistently looking their best!

It’s also very easy to sit back and say nothing with your microphone off while everyone else leads around you, but taking the initiative and putting forward your ideas can also be a way to help you stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Those who make the biggest impressions are the ones most likely considered when it comes to promotions or given the best learning opportunities.

How do you conduct yourself for meetings from home? Have you got a morning routine to help you get ready for work?