If you’ve been on the internet in the last couple of weeks, you may have seen that a journalist got into trouble when he did something during a Zoom call that, let’s just say, was an activity better suited to being in private.
So! If you’re on a videoconference, here’s a good rule of thumb: Only do things you would do if you were in the same room with the other people on the call.
Obviously this is true of the more private human behaviors, but let’s zoooooom out (sorry!), and see how this applies more widely. Here is some of what I’ve been seeing in the workshops and calls I’m on:
—People putting their feet up on their desks so that the soles of their shoes are close to the camera
—People with more than one monitor staring at the one without the camera for the duration of the meeting
—People who never unmute or turn their cameras on.
I get it. You’re at home, you have seven back-to-back meetings, and you’ve got crazy Zoom fatigue. But even more than in in-person meetings, virtual ones really only work when everyone brings their A game (in this case, “A” means “Attention.”)
Think about the in-person equivalents to what I listed above. What would it be like to be in a meeting with someone who put their feet on the conference room table close to your face? Or looked away from you the whole time, even when you were speaking? Or sat with their hoodie pulled up over their head and never said a word?
The way we show up matters. It matters to us, and it matters to the people around us.
A few tips:
–Arrange your home office so that you can sit (or stand, if you have a standing desk) comfortably with your camera at eye level.
–Remind yourself to look at the camera, not at your second monitor.
–If you are finding yourself frequently in meetings where you have nothing to contribute, advocate to be excluded from those meetings instead of showing up and doing other work while you are on mute.