Some of us are lucky enough to be allowed to work from home, but others take advantage of this pleasure.  People tend to forget that it is not a right, but a privilege that their employers allow them to do their jobs remotely.  This is possible in most jobs due to videoconferencing software that allows you to share video with other individuals.  Employers expect their employees to stay professional even when working from home, but sometimes the temptation to dress down can make them appear less interested in the job and more interested in themselves.

Tips to help Keep up your Image when on a Video Call

  • Don’t forget to dress appropriately – Wearing your old, ratty, stained, college T-shirt isn’t a good way to win over a client or impress a business partner.  You will lose the respect of the person you are talking to if you don’t dress for the job.
  • Don’t lose your natural habits – It is easy to hit the snooze button at 6 am and delay the shower till later, but it still matters.  Just because you don’t have to go into the workplace doesn’t mean you aren’t working.  When you get a video call and you look like you just rolled out of bed, it should be embarrassing.  Make sure you do what you need to stay looking professional, whether that’s shaving, doing your hair, or something else.
  • Keep the view area clean – Remember that everything behind you is visible when you are on video, so make sure it looks clean, and that you don’t have anything inappropriate in the background.  If you have dirty laundry, old fast food bags, or crude posters, it’s going to make them think you are a pig.  Take a minute to clean up and remove any unwanted items from the field of view.
  • Position the Camera Properly – No one wants to see a zoomed in view up your nose.  Make sure the camera has a good view before starting the call and try not to constantly adjust it while communicating.  That can be distracting to the other side and can take away from the meeting. 
  • Noise Control – Make sure you don’t have a TV blaring in the background or a dog barking in the room.  It may not be that loud to you, but for others it can be painfully loud.  Every had someone put ice in their cup while on the phone with you? It sounds like a building collapsing.

These may seem like obvious tips, but you would be surprised how many people fail these simple tests.  Some of these people are the perfect employees while in the office, but at home they become unprofessional slobs, and that can damage the image of the company and hurt their career.  So remember that working from home is still work, and if you are videoconferencing with clients or coworkers you are representing your bosses and yourself.