I was on a video call this week with about fifteen people, and as I looked across their work-from-home rectangles, my heart sank.
In almost every box, people slumped, multitasked, stared fixedly at a monitor located away from their camera, and looked down their noses at their laptops. In one, a lonely office chair sat unoccupied in front of a branded virtual background.
There were three or four people, however, who really stood out in contrast. Cameras at eye level and with good lighting, they seemed engaged and interested.
People can always come up with reasons not to be on camera or not pay full attention to what’s going on. But if you’re the person who has taken the (minimal) time to get your setup looking good, you’re going to outshine those who haven’t. The effort pays off.