Virtual Meetings in Suits and Slippers

Video conferences. You’ve heard of it.  You’ve seen it. You’re probably using it right now!  While Zoom is becoming a household name, we thought it was the perfect time to share some tips and trick on how to rock the business on top, sleepwear on bottom attire as nearly everyone is shifting to remote work in one form or another.  We want to ensure that you’re set to maintain your professionalism, all while concealing the crazy household antics that may be going on around you.

 

It’s your time to shine.

Ever thought you were taking the perfect selfie, just to see that the sun was directly behind you, turning your next viral IG post into a cloudy looking day?  The same goes for your virtual meeting. Make sure you are seen. Check your lighting on video first. Are you dark? Move your desk (or nightstand in my case) so that the light is coming from directly behind your computer screen.  Your co-workers want to be able to see your face as you pitch the next game-changing idea.

 

Another trip around the sun (or living room, or pretend coffee shop).

Ok, maybe outer space isn’t the best virtual background (unless you’re an astronaut playing hookie), but some video conference platforms allow you to “green screen” your background.  Kids wrestling in the background? Dog throwing around the ball? Roommate not paying attention to their surroundings? Your virtual platform is there to save you! Explore the settings, even upload your own.  Maybe even pitch a “themed” meeting or two to spice things up.

 

 

If your platform doesn’t offer virtual backgrounds, then be aware of your surroundings.  No beds, no TVs, no messy rooms, open closets, ect. If you can’t find a dedicated room for your virtual office, back yourself into a corner.  Grab a reusable velcro strip to hang a small decoration behind you. Create the visual that you’re still in the office. It will help put you in that productive mindset.  Remember, we’re all in the same boat right now, and “fake it until you make it” is completely acceptable if you don’t have the perfect environment. However, while everyone is experiencing the same struggle, try to be mindful of your surroundings by trying to keep a quiet environment because… 

 

Kids are a cute distraction on Facebook.  Not the quarterly budget meeting.

Nothing brings a smile to faces faster than seeing your kids belt out the newest Disney hit, or your dog going bananas chasing after a squirrel through the window.  Your virtual meeting, however, is not that time. Unless you live alone, I’m sure your house is just as chaotic, and out of routine like the rest of us.  Sometimes, you can’t control that.  Unless the mic is yours during a meeting, make sure to keep yourself muted.  It will cut down on the echoing feedback that is bound to happen, confusion of delays when multiple people go to speak, and save you from having your toddler inform everyone that she went potty on the floor.

 

Dress for Success… at least from the waist up.

We’ve all dreamed of this day.  Where you don’t have to put on those too tight heals, or those loafers that always give you blisters.  If anything, we have trained for this on every lazy Sunday. Comfort is the name of the game when at home, but remember… you’re still on candid camera.  Try to maintain your routine as much as possible. Get up, comb your hair, throw on your best top, but keep it comfy with your favorite slippers. Set the tone, from the waist up.  Getting yourself in the professional mindset will not only keep you in good ranks, but it will actually aide in your productivity.

 

 

Can  I have your attention, please?

Will the real Slim Shady please remain seated and not check their email?  We know, it’s tempting. When you have the internet at your fingertips, it’s easy to pop over to see if your new account emailed you back.  Maybe you’re even tempting to track how your latest social post is performing. However, it’s important to remain present. Unless needed for the meeting itself, exit out of all windows that could be distractions.  Again, you need to create your professional environment. You wouldn’t pull out your phone in the middle of a meeting to check twitter, right? Same goes for your virtual meeting. Plus, when you show your capability, professionalism and productivity while working from home, maybe this will open the door down the road for your employer to allow you to work remotely when those PCS orders start being cut again.

 

At the end of the day, we’re all figuring this out this new normal together.  Prove to yourself, and your employer that you can maintain your professionalism, show grace when needed, and control the chaos that’s bound to happen between each Netflix binge.

 

Wanting advice on how to find your fit and launch your remote career?  Contact our Career Center today!

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