When working from home, keep your clothes on.

When I first started working remotely, we had scheduled a meeting with a new software development company. It started like every video call, people joining every few seconds. The software development companies representative “Jack” said his engineer “Mike” would be joining shortly, but we could go ahead and get started without him.

We started going through the various services they offered, then we heard a ping.

Mike had showed up.

The problem was, Mike didn’t know he joined, Mike didn’t know his webcam was on, and Mike wasn’t wearing clothes. Jack started yelling at Mike that his webcam was on, Mike didn’t notice or hear, he just took his time, got himself situated, then put his headset on. Once he heard Jack yelling, we saw him knock his webcam to the floor trying to block it.

We didn’t choose that vendor.

There’s a lot of morals we could go into from this story about professionalism, dressing for success, etc. but I’m going to keep it simple and practical and just talk about what to do with your webcam.

When you’re video conferencing:

  • Test your audio and video beforehand.
  • Keep your clothes on during working hours, pretend your webcam is always on.
  • Clean your room behind you, your background says a lot about you and your personality.
  • Make sure your camera angle is level with your face. Too high and you look like you’re cowering, too low and c’mon, that’s not a good angle for anybody.

It’s very easy to get too casual working from home. Keep your clothes on.

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