Nightwear probably isn’t best for your Zoom meeting. Neither is beachwear, shirtless men (or women), or a having the webcam pointing up your nose. Telework etiquette is noticed and matters.
Some people are delighted about working from home (WFH). They believe that this is the once in a lifetime opportunity. No travel or commute, nobody barging into your workspace, and no rotten fish smells coming from the office microwave.
Certainly, there are advantages and disadvantages. Both for the employer and employee.
Proof of Work
In the early 2000’s on-line education started to populate, supplement, or even replace the previous correspondence school. Things have morphed over the years and now it is bigger than ever.
During those earlier years many people believed that on-line college courses meant easy-street.
Yet, not so much if the college or university was reputable.
For those institutions, on-line credits meant more work than the traditional in-person setting. You had to prove your work since you were not actually occupying space in a traditional classroom.
The same is often true today for the WFH employee.
You may be delivering more proof of work assignments. Considering less travel time and likely fewer on-the-job interruptions from chatty co-workers your productivity might be better.
You still must show your work, perhaps even more so than in the past. Part of your work is looking and acting professionally.
Consider that your telework etiquette should be similar etiquette as if you were walking into the conference room at work.
Just because you just jumped out of the pool. (Of course, while you were on your lunch break.) Doesn’t mean you should be on camera in your bikini.
Kids, pets, and your visiting relatives probably don’t belong in the meeting.
Most of all, your behaviors should be respectful, considerate, and illustrating appropriate patience.
Is there forgiveness? Yes, I think many people would suggest that there is more lenience and empathy for the telework environment but you would be better off getting noticed for professionalism rather than the opposite.
Keep your microphone muted unless you’re trying to speak. If a significant interruption occurs and you’re one of eight in the meeting, consider shutting off your video for a moment until you can clear the disruption on your end.
Lots of people have barking dogs, curious cats, and children with questions and needs. Do the best you can to restrict anything that wouldn’t be part of that old-school, in the office meeting.
Maybe old-school will become new-school again. Maybe it will be blended, or who knows what? In the meantime, your telework etiquette matters!
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.