Virtual Etiquettes: Striving for Progress
Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like good behavior? The reciprocation to this, either be a ‘No’ or a confused reaction to the oddity of the question. I agree with you, there might be none, because no one appreciates indecency, especially at the workplace. They say, it is your attitude than your aptitude that will take you far in the journey of professional growth. We all know the old syllabus of professional etiquettes: reaching on time, a promising handshake, and paying attention. While applying this demeanor was much appreciated in person, it will virtually not disappoint either. Rather, it will help you mark your territory on a zoom call too.
Although the virtual mode has rescued the work culture during the pandemic, it does not negate the fact that the stakes went even higher and the pressure of making an impression is real. While some of the basic principles to practice during the meeting are to avoid eating, muting oneself and being respectful to the speaker/presenter. Following are some tips on virtual etiquettes for effective Work From Home (WFH) culture:-
As the Harlem R&B King, Sweat said ‘Dress to Impress’
Good News: No rushing to the conference room at 8:00 AM to attend the next quarterly meeting, rather sipping onto coffee and shifting from your bedroom to study is all it takes. Sounds like a perfect life right? While the pandemic has caged us within the four walls of our places, the WFH has appeared as a blessing in disguise. As one feels happy about not being stuck in traffic jams for hours. However, it does not imply that one should stop respecting the code of professional ethics. Despite the WFH, it is important to dress appropriately and professionally.
You might not be traveling to your client or boss but your impression is. Formal wear speaks volumes about the sincerity that you have for your work. It certainly helps the party sitting through the web call, to still trust in you.
If you are a senior, advising your juniors/interns/clients, sitting as an observer to be in smart formals sometimes would not suffice. Smart formals can mean different attitudes to different people. To avoid any confusion, be specific. For example, advise women to be in a business suit, or a black Indian one, a formal skirt or dress with a blazer. For men, a plain white collared shirt with a tie and blazer is the most appropriate suggestion(s). Despite being on a pixel, one’s attitude will affect one’s psychology of being in a court/conference room.
Remember, you don’t want to be the next WhatsApp forward. So, it is important to dress for the job you have, not the job you want.
Life could be a mess, but you could always clean a space
During the inception of WFH, we all saw babies appearing in the background on the international news channel, people passing from behind, disorganized spaces with clothes, leftovers, messy walls, or casually people signing in from the roads. While all of this was initially claimed to be funny, however, the prolonged and repeated disruption might send a bad impression. It shows that you could not care less. Ideally, the focus should be to conduct a meeting from a place of minimal noise and moment, since you want the attendees to focus on your presentation instead of judging you for your casual behavior or admiring your superheroes’ posters. That being said, one could have certain limitations. For situations like these, web apps have inbuilt virtual work-friendly backgrounds that can come in handy. Additionally, the apps have a noise-cancelling feature that can minimize the background noise once you plug in the headset.
Let’s Nuke It
Another jargon used in the world of web, the popular media has given us, making the host lose control of the web room. We saw in the past commoners joining the online hearing and disrupting it with nuisance. So, if you are a host, or a lawyer bringing their clients, it is really important that you handpick the audience/attendee for the call. The best way is to only keep reliable and known people on the call so that the process remains to be streamlined and the decorum of the institute is maintained. If the matter concerns the masses, the recording or the minutes of the session can be put in circulation.
But Judge, I am not the cat
We all had our hearty and delightful entertainment for weeks on LinkedIn earlier this year, when a state attorney appeared with a filter of a cat on the zoom call. While the judge empathizes and understands the weaknesses of the lawyer, being a professional it may come across as mischief, or worse as contempt. A little preparation for the call before hand will not hurt someone, especially when you are the first time or a new user on the e-app. To have smooth functioning, reading about the app, following the instructions online, or simply asking someone to assist you before would show your commitment towards your work. It will show that you understand the importance of efficiency and also make an effort to put your best behavior.
Time is Money
We are amidst the chaos, but what can be efficient is a good zoom call. Always plan ahead, make a road map of the discussion, write down the key pointers, try to have the communication as clear as you can. Sometimes sending a head up to your team or explaining your subordinates about the meeting prior to this can not only make things simple but also quick and efficient. Having a Skelton in place and explaining to everyone about their cues can get things done in half of the time and can make your day even more productive. You will be surprised to find a window to work on some parallel project, completing your pending task or maybe taking a day off for self-care. Nobody likes to have a tag of conducting unproductive meetings.
Practicing virtual etiquettes not only makes the process valuable but also efficient.