With the recent shift to more digital meetings and on-camera appearances, it's easy to think that not being in meetings physically gives you permission to let a few things slide. It's never been less true! It's incredibly important to maintain professionalism while working remotely. Here are a six quick tips to help you look good and professional during work conference calls.
Tip 1: Wear Pants
Seriously… wear pants. You never know when you may need to shift or move (especially if you're a parent and your children are home). Aside from preventing an embarrassing show it also makes you look more professional and intentional. Wearing pants shows that you are taking your job seriously and not letting yourself be too comfortable.
Tip 2: Make Sure Your Background is Clean
Working remotely when it isn't something you normally do can be challenging – especially when it comes to having a reserved, quiet and clean work space. However, if you want to look good on a professional conference call you will want to have a clutter-free, preferably people-free background. This ensures that those on the call will be paying attention to YOU rather than anything that may be going on in the background.
Tip 3: Look at the camera
Working from home you may have multiple monitors. Make sure that your active camera is on the main monitor that you most naturally look at. Nothing screams 'unprofessional' like showing your profile during the entire conference call; you don't hold a conversation with someone while looking away from them the entire time when you are in person, so don't do it when you're on camera. If your built-in camera doesn't lend itself to the best positioning you can easily invest in a clip-on webcam that won't cost too much, but will elevate your professionalism immensely.
Tip 4: Don't Snack
If you want to look good during a conference call try to keep the snacks at a minimum – especially if it's a professional call. Feel free to break out snacks when you're chatting with friends or are having semi-informal calls with colleagues, but if you want to appear professional leave the snacks out of the call entirely. Trust us on this one… chewing on camera looks much more up-close-and-personal than it does in real life.
Tip 5: Maintain Personal Grooming
Working remotely doesn't mean you give up your personal grooming habits entirely. For men, making sure your hair – including facial hair – is brushed and clean, goes a long way. The same applies to ladies with the addition of any makeup you may normally wear. Scaling back isn't a bad thing, but make sure you're still maintaining a professional appearance when on camera. This also echoes Tip #1 – you'll feel and look much more intentional if you make sure your appearance is work-ready.
Tip 6: Focus on Lighting
One of the last things that you can do to instantly appear more professional is to ensure you have a good lighting setup for your calls. The best thing you can do is put a light behind your computer, so that it shines more on your face. Putting a light behind your head will cast your face in shadow and compromise the quality of the video for the call.