Um…You do Know it’s a Video Call, Right?

I’ve been told that one of the advantages of working from home is that you can dress as you please. Working from home has apparently done wonders for the sweatpants business. From my experience it would seem that the shift to working from home has had the opposite effect on any company selling razor blades. 

I’ve also noticed of late that t-shirts are becoming more common. I didn’t pay much attention to that until people starting using their t-shirts to clean around the house and then put them back on for the Zoom call. 

From what I’ve seen the hair care business would be another bad business to invest in. There is far less need for good grooming and hygiene on a Teams Call cause well after all, it’s not like “they” can smell you. 

But they most certainly can see you on a Video call…I’m pretty sure that’s why they call it Video. If it’s a work call then your appearance matters. (Actually it kinda matters all the time but more so in a professional setting)

Right or wrong people form opinions of you based at least partially on your appearance. When your face is the last to pop up on the screen as the meeting is beginning and you’re wearing a t-shirt with holes in it, with grease spots, and you didn’t take the time to even run a comb through your hair then you should know that you are severely damaging your credibility. 

That might not be fair, it might not be right but it is absolutely true. Your colleagues are likely talking about you behind your back…and not in a good way. Worse, your organization’s leadership team are forming long lasting opinions of you. They will last well after you’re back to being in the office and looking all spiffed up. 

Each day dress exactly as if you were going into the office, because you virtually are going into the office, even if you have no calls on your calendar. You will feel more confident, the quality of your work will be higher and perhaps the quantity too. 

If dressing for work even when you’re working from home seems pointless to you then you’re missing the point. The point of dressing professionally even when working in the room down the hall is to maintain your credibility and the respect of the people you interact with. 

Don’t give people anything to talk about other than your excellent work. If they are talking how poorly you look on those calls they won’t be talking about what you said, no matter how insightful you may have been.

That’s today’s reality. Don’t try to fool yourself into thinking your appearance doesn’t matter cause they can only see you on a screen. They can see you…and what they see matters. 

4 thoughts on “Um…You do Know it’s a Video Call, Right?

  1. Totally Agree… I remember when I was applying for the GCS job at the Chapala CC a few years ago. My other two competitors showed up in shorts for their interview. The people on the club’s board told me (after I was hired) when I presented myself in a proper suit and tie, they felt confident to roll the dice with me.

    1. Great example! I remember from my days with Dale Carnegie always hearing you can’t really be over dressed but you most certainly can be under dressed. My dad always told me “show up on time and look like you know what you’re doing and you’re half way to success before the competition knows what happened to them. He was right!

  2. This goes well with a key character point, ” what you do when you don’t have to or think you are not seen “. that is the very core of character.

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