RWL211:How to avoid making a bad impression with your team and coworkers when working remotely

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As someone who’s championed the remote work movement, I’ve learned that making a strong connection, especially during a first encounter, goes beyond just logging in. In this episode, we unpack how intentional presentation can build trust and credibility and why understanding your audience plays a crucial role in how you’re perceived online.

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Speaker 1:

Hey, it's Alex from Remote Work Life. I hope this finds you well, wherever you may be. And today I want to talk about staying visible and presentable during virtual meetings to maintain a sense of connection. So, in case you don't know, I'm using these slots on the podcast to give quick tips, so today's quick tip is all around about staying visible and presentable. So, and again, if you're new here, I just want to say thank you for joining me. You're very welcome and if you, if it's not your first time here, please, you know, do get in touch and let me know if there are any particular topics, subjects you want me to cover in future editions of the podcast. And yeah, it's just, it's just good to have you here. So, as I said, we're going to today explore the importance of staying visible and presentable during virtual meetings to maintain a sense of connection in a remote work scenario.

Speaker 1:

And for me, as an advocate of remote work, I think this is something that is important, something that I've always tried to do, even in my early days of remote work. I've always tried to be visible. I've always tried to be as presentable as possible during any meetings that I have, because, especially if it's with somebody who is meeting for the first time. It's always important to make a first impression, a good first impression, because that can be a very lasting impression as well, and, you know, being visible, being presentable, can help you to get off on a good footing. So, you know, and I think, because the virtual connections are so important, it's something that I've always worked on in order to build meeting, sorry, build sort of those connections, to build trust. And you have to be quite conscious about how you do that and you have to really think about what some of the things that you can do in order to, you know, prioritize and build your visibility to enhance your presentability in a virtual meeting. Because, again, as much as I did my best in the early days, my camera, for example, was not the best camera, so it wouldn't necessarily show me in the best light, or I didn't necessarily position my desk in the best position in order to take advantage of natural light, so it would often, or the picture would often, appear to be distorted, or you may not be able to see me properly, so that too can create a sense of doubt, sometimes in the mind of the person who is on the other end. So, being intentional and thinking about what to do in certain situations can is important. So here are four things that I can I think you can think about and consider when it comes to enhancing your visibility, enhancing your presentation during your virtual meetings.

Speaker 1:

So number one is I don't necessarily like using the word professional because professional is. I guess it brings to mind something quite specific For me. It brings to mind shirt, tie or formal office wear, that sort of thing Because professional. For me, though, the modern day meaning of professional I is is, uh, work, wear that's or you know, whatever, whatever you wear, that is aligned with the, the, the audience that you're targeting, or is aligned with, um, the, the people that you work with, and generally that is more of a sort of a, an innate thing. So more often, not these days, you see people, um, people who may have gone to work in certain ties in even like 20 years ago, and now going to to work in similar jobs, um, with something more casual, and there's nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with that. But I think you have to, in that way, know your audience, because there may be certain meetings that expectations might be that you wear a certain thing, and that doesn't necessarily chime with me, I don't think you should judge somebody based on what they have on, but sometimes, in some scenarios, depending on, let's say, you're working in the financial services or you're working in legal, there are sometimes expectations in those sectors in terms of how you might dress, not necessarily sectors that I'd want to sort of align myself with. If that is the case, um, but and that's not to say that the financial services sector or the legal sector don't have sort of areas where it's a bit less formal, but yeah, um, I guess I've gone the long way around saying that I think you have to know your audience and understand what, what it is that you need to wear, how you need to present yourself in order to, um, in order to, I guess, appear professional. So, um, that's number one.

Speaker 1:

Number two is a visible workspace, and by that I mean, as I was alluding to before, is having a well-lit area. So have, don't have the, for example, the sunlight behind you, because that will distort the picture. That will, I guess, um, mean that you're less visible. It'd be more difficult for the person to see you. So, having natural light coming from in front of you, ideally, or, failing that, if you've got a light, sort of like an artificial light that can, I guess, simulate or, yeah, simulates daylight something that can help to help you look, help you appear more visible. That's number two.

Speaker 1:

So number three is engaged body language. So by that I mean it could be something as simple as just make acknowledging whoever it is on the other end of the, the video stream. Acknowledgement can can come in different ways, but I think sometimes it's it's not easy when you're on a video call with somebody and there's no sort of but let's say that the, the, the uh, the video is off, for instance, or the video is. It's probably a bit more difficult, isn't it, when you can't understand the person's feelings, a person's body language, because then you don't get any sort of immediate feedback as to how the conversation is going. So if you're engaged in somehow, somehow with the conversation, then that puts the other person at ease, even if you're sort of typing something as they're going along, that will help you to appear engaged. So there's different ways of engagement. It's not necessarily just always body language, but if you can engage somehow, somehow, then that can help you to create that sense of visibility and presentability during a virtual meeting.

Speaker 1:

So number four on my list is active participation. So, again, there are often meetings that I would have external meetings with coaching clients where the camera might be off completely. They refuse to turn the camera on. Or if the camera was on, or if they were, even if it was just audio, for example, there'd be no participation, there's no active participation and it eventually just turned into a monologue. Now that is off-putting to you know. Let's say you're part of a team and you just leave your camera off, for example. Or if, okay, not everybody wants to have their camera on or can have a camera on, let's say you don't contribute in any way, shape or form to that particular meeting.

Speaker 1:

That doesn't build trust, that doesn't build a sense of you maintaining a sense of connection with the people that you are working with. So you have to find a way of connecting with the people that you work with when you're working on a remote basis Because, again, as I said, that builds trust and that's team building as well. So active participation is really important key. So I hope that has helped in some way, shape or form. Let me know if you can think of any other ways in which you can stay visible and presentable during virtual meetings in order to maintain a sense of connection. I'm sure there are lots more things that I haven't mentioned, but I've just mentioned a few just to get your thoughts going going, and if you have found this, this, uh, this episode useful, please do consider sharing with your network, share with your connections, and leave any sort of reviews or comments as well. Please and uh, I look forward to speaking to you in the next episode.

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