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  • Writer's pictureNina Abraham

How to be Professional Over Zoom

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are forced to work from home for the foreseeable future, and employers have started using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other video chatting services to conduct meetings from home with ease. But as more and more people work from home, many are wondering what the work etiquette is over these services. Below are tips on how to remain professional virtually.

1. Choose a Good Environment

The perfect work environment takes into account three things; the lighting in the room, the people in the room, and the room itself. Make sure you choose a room where the lighting is strong enough not to cast a shadow onto your face, but now too strong to the point where you blinds your co-workers. Similarly, you should try and set up your home office in a room where there is not a lot of background movement. Lastly, now that we are streaming from our own home, what room we choose to set our office in matters. A messy and disorganized zoom background can reflect badly on you, which is especially important in front of bosses and supervisors. A shortcut to bypassing this issue is to use a zoom virtual background, which can create the illusion of a clean professional room wherever you are.

2. Dress Professionally

Now that we work only steps away from where we eat and sleep, it may be tempting to work in lounge clothes. However, not only does dressing nicely look professional and impress your coworkers, but it has proven in various studies to boost productivity. So always try to dress professionally, like by wearing a crisp collared top paired with a flowy pleated midi skirt. If that seems too much, the bare minimum should be a simple shirt that still looks clean and dark pants that are comfortable but still look good just in case you have to get up to get something while on camera.

3. Maintain your posture

Sitting up straight and looking straight into the camera are important, especially if you are sitting at your desk for a long period of time. Not only does it prevent lower back and shoulder pains, but it ensures your coworkers that you are paying attention. This small detail can help you make good impressions on your bosses and help your chances of getting a promotion.

4. Speak clearly at a normal tone

Almost all laptop microphones can easily pick up a normal speaking tone, so there’s no need to yell. However, because of this it’s vital that you don’t mumble, but instead speak clearly and confidently, as microphones tend not to pick up soft sounds to block out background noise. Similarly, it's good to put yourself on mute if you are not the one giving the presentation, to avoid broadcasting the occasional loud noise that wouldn’t be blocked normally. You can utilize the space bar on your keyboard, to temporarily unmute yourself so you can make a quick comment before muting yourself again.

5. Follow meeting etiquette

For online meeting hosts, there is a certain protocol that will allow you to host the best work meeting to impress your co-workers. For example, only invite participants who are absolutely needed for the meeting. This way, the quality of the meeting is much better. Additionally, if you are the host of the meeting, you should always be the last one to leave. This way, if anyone has any follow-up questions, they have the time to ask you.

For more tips about how to remain professional and advance your career, check out WFO’s Accelerate program, which will run every Tuesday and Thursday over Zoom from September 22 to October 8 at 10;30 am to 12;30 pm. This program specializes in helping those who are underemployed and looking to gain career development, whether it be getting a promotion or changing careers, Those who have participated in this program saw great results, with one participant saying “I really enjoyed the class and think that it provided information that will remain useful throughout my career. Not only did it reinforce some things I know, but it reminded me of things I had forgotten or sometimes overlooked, as well provided some key points that were unknown to me before,” Click here to sign up for this program and advance your own career.

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