As my cat gracefully stretched herself into frame during a Zoom chat I had with my coworkers yesterday, I began to wonder if I was exuding professionalism, as it were.
It was only a chat with two close coworkers as we all were working from home. So it’s not like they cared if my pet made her presence known; in fact, my boss, who was on the call, even made a humorous comment like, “Oh, now there are four in the meeting!”
His understanding was appreciated, and I can’t truly believe that most people would look down on me for this brief pet interruption, if you could even call it that.
But what if this video chat was external, client-facing? And what if that client just happened to hate cats (perish the thought!)?
Since so many of us are working from home, we have to make sure we maintain a certain level of professionalism, tempting as it may be to let our physical appearance go by the wayside while logged-on.
Just doing your normal, day-to-day routine as though you were heading to the office (yes, that means putting on your nicer clothes) can make a huge mental difference. Plus, you never know if you’re going to have to suddenly hop on a call.
So here are some tips conglomerated by The New York Post for looking professional on video calls from home:
- Steer clear of pure white and black clothing – as well as clothes with busy patterns – to avoid strange optical effects on camera
- Dress as you normally would for the office (ok, maybe the loafers and fancy flats don’t have to make the cut, but from the waist up, at least)
- Don’t ignore your hair — again, treat it as you normally would for office days
- Try to sit at an actual desk near natural light, but also avoid glare if possible by angling your computer or using sheer blinds on windows
- Aim to have a blank wall behind you (a picture is ok, as long as it isn’t too eye-grabbing or distracting)
- Align your laptop’s camera a bit higher than eye-level to avoid flattening the image and to maintain better posture