Tag Archives: zoom

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telework etiquette

Telework Etiquette Still Means Professionalism

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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.

Telework Etiquette

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.

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Zoom dress code

Zoom Dress Code, Social Etiquette, and Posers

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Today you may have a Zoom meeting. If not, you may find yourself in one this week, or next. What is your Zoom dress code? Are you a poser?

It is hard to pin point an exact moment when, but somewhere along the way the selfie became a thing.

A selfie is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to show what you have, put on a big smile, or show everyone your tongue. Some selfies appear very natural, not staged, and comfortable. Others are more tense, stiff, and out of focus. Some are just plain silly.

Social Etiquette and Online Meetings

What about the Zoom meeting you have coming up? Are you ready for video to invade your home? What once was private is now on display. How will you pose?

Social etiquette is evolving and you are part of it. How you prepare and present today will have an impact on the shape of things in the future.

Engagement is often suggested as the key to online interaction. Keep the attention, keep things moving, more pictures, more interaction, bigger smiles, and make it all attractive.

Did you ever think you would participate in Hollywood Squares?

Does telework etiquette matter?

Most people wouldn’t even consider going to a workplace without appropriate dress and cleanliness. It’s appropriate.

Yet, if you’re not in your natural state are you comfortable?

Rules of etiquette have been challenged for decades, perhaps even centuries.

When it comes to your Zoom meetings you may want to find that happy medium. Comfortable is important, appropriate matters too.

Zoom Dress Code

It is not really contest. It isn’t a glamour show. Does it all matter? Certainly.

The goal of your Zoom meeting is probably not to attain the most likes when you share your Hollywood Squares picture on social media.

It’s about engagement, participation, and in some cases, learning.

zoom appreciative strategies

When you enter the physical workplace, the office of the boss, or the conference room for a meeting are you thinking about what your photo will look like? Probably not.

You’re thinking about what is about to unfold, how you’ll engage, the questions you’ll ask and the value you can contribute.

You’ve already dressed appropriately.

You’re there to engage.

For the Zoom meeting authenticity matters. Prepare for success. Don’t be a poser.


Originally posted on August 5, 2020, last updated on December 8, 2020.

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.

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measure meeting effectiveness

How Do You Measure Meeting Effectiveness?

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How many meetings do you have? Are there too many? Do feel meetings help or hinder productivity?

Have you ever felt that workplace meetings are a waste of time? Many people I speak with at organizations believe that they are involved in too many meetings or meetings that last far too long. Meetings certainly have their purpose and of course, are connected to the concept of ensuring effective communication, but how do we measure meeting effectiveness?

Why Meetings?

First, let’s consider why we hold meetings. There are many different flavors from brainstorming and strategy, to information exchange, to organizing and planning for an upcoming event, and many others. When you ask around it seems that people don’t mind the strategy sessions as much as they do the repetitive information exchange with the same old details, problems, and unresolved issues.

Meeting Management: How Long Should Meetings Last?

In addition, workplace meetings might sometimes be labeled as staff meetings, sales meetings, or department meetings with varying formats, frequencies, and lengths of time. Do these meetings energize people?

Regular Meetings

Often these regularly held and traditional information updates do not energize. In some cases, these meetings are managed to feel like sessions for bragging rights or workload comparison between people or departments that should feel camaraderie but instead feel more like they are vying for the most kudos or in some type of competition with each other.

regular meetings

Certainly, some friendly internal competition can be effective, but it also has to be managed appropriately and always should reinforce that the organization is most effective as a team and that everyone is in it together.

zoom meeting telework

Are you having Zoom meetings or otherwise engaged in telework? Professionalism and etiquette still matter.

Measuring Effectiveness

Do you have too many meetings? In order to properly assess if you are having too many meetings, you should first consider the value and productivity of the meetings you already have. You’ll need to consider if the right people are in attendance and if the meetings are the right length of time. You’ll need specific agendas, goals, and recaps along with accountability to ensure you’re getting the most from them.

There is a really good chance that the meetings you have in place are supposed to improve communication but you must keep in mind that the act of simply having a meeting will not necessarily improve communication. Additionally, your meetings will need to have appropriate accountability, respect, and trust.

Do you have poor communication? Is it too much or too little?

You should also consider participant engagement. Today we might hold meetings that include BYOD (bring your own device) or we might attend a meeting that insists on no devices being active, and in others, you might have something in between.

What is important to keep in mind is that some of your meeting participants will already know or perhaps completely understand the information being shared. The meeting becomes boring to them; they get disconnected, distracted, and often completely disengaged.

Meeting Evaluation

You must always evaluate how to best serve the entire audience and in some cases, you might want to consider alternative formats or meetings with different participants and different lengths of time.

Do you have effective meetings?

To measure the effectiveness of any meeting at a minimum you must assess:

  • Frequency
  • Length of time
  • Number of participants
  • Appropriateness for each participant
  • Atmosphere, climate, environment, location
  • Rules or guidelines
  • Goals, objectives, desired outcomes
  • Performance assurance, accountability

Meetings that are not effective, last too long, have the wrong participants, or are held too often or too little will all be problematic for your communication efforts.

When is your next meeting? Will it be effective?


Internal customer service matters just as much as what is reflected externally.

Are you delivering on customer service internally?

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Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

This article was originally published on November 21, 2016, last updated on October 13, 2020.

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