Want to Work from Home? Better Brush up on Conferencing Etiquette
Telecommuting is a privilege increasingly afforded to many in today’s workforce. It has become a reality thanks to stronger Internet connections and new technologies that make it possible to do just about everything you could from a desk at a brick and mortar location.
But there’s more to working from home than just staying in your PJs. There is a whole new set of rules and etiquette you need to learn to keep management and contacts at the other end of your communications channels happy.
It’s easy to assume someone isn’t working if they can’t be seen or heard. So that’s one of the most important elements with telecommuting. You need to be able to be readily seen and heard as needed. Dead air or long pauses between what could be an instant conversation in person may have an ill affect on your ability to use the remote working perk in the future.
And as more and more workforces look for ways to cut costs while increasing efficiency, it’s going to be normal to pop-up in video and have a face-to-face meeting on the fly. That means you can’t be in your PJs without brushing your hair or have your toddler hopping up and down on the couch behind you.
Brushing up on conferencing etiquette will prove beneficial to keeping your work from home privileges.
A recent article in Utah Business magazine looked at some tips that can help you get through conferencing sessions like a pro.
It’s obvious that you’ll want to dress the part, and you’ll want to make sure you’re connecting from a quiet, neat, well lit room. But what you could easily forget is that checking emails while you’re on camera, or forgetting to make eye contact (i.e. look into the camera) with participants on the video conference can come off as rude and should be avoided.
It’s also a good practice to use the mute button when you’re not speaking and to allow for a little extra time between speakers talking so if there is any lag you won’t be speaking over someone else - this translates just as bad over camera as it does in an in-person meeting.
Finally – as with anything, you’ll want to prepare ahead of time. Nothing is worse than scheduling a video conference and just before it begins, the microphone won’t work, the connection is bad – or you forgot to send participants the files and documents they need to access during the meeting.
If you’re one of the lucky ones already working from a distance or you want to get your employer on board, work on these skills and demonstrate why it is beneficial to have telecommuting as an option.
Edited by Alicia Young