Q: What do barking dogs, leaf blowers, and people wearing no pants all have in common?
A: They’re all things you have probably heard or seen if you’ve attended a Zoom conference call where many of the participants are working from home.
The COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing rules have forced many Raleigh businesses to change how they do things. Conference call programs such as Zoom and Google Meet are now the communication tools of choice for many companies whose employees work from home.
When stay-at-home employees first started hopping on Zoom calls, it was literally a free-for-all. As new of an old concept as it was, many people weren’t sure of the protocols of participating in a business video conferencing call from their kitchen table or couch.
People would hop on camera wearing wrinkled street clothes, the kitty cat would walk in front of the camera, and the leaf blower guys outside would perform their rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major.
Now that we’re nearing the 1-year anniversary of the pandemic, it’s time for Raleigh businesses to work with what they’re given and implement some rules that will enable a more professional Zoom meeting for all involved.
Read on to learn a few tips and tricks on how your work-at-home employees can make the best of the situation and provide a more professional experience for all involved.
It’s time to forgo street clothes in favor of casual business attire. This means men should comb their hair and wear a collared shirt. Women should dress in something they would typically wear in the office. T-shirts, baseball caps, and other accessories have no place on a conference call.
It goes without saying, but everyone should wear a pair of pants during the meeting as well. A recent study by the London Research Group found that around 47% of people don’t wear pants while on a Zoom call. While that may seem nitpicky—consider what would happen if a pants-less person has to stand up suddenly?
Create a Tech Stack
One of the downsides to working remotely is that each employee will use his/her preferred software tools. For example, while someone may use Microsoft Word, their co-worker might prefer Google Docs. As the manager or owner of a business, it’s your responsibility to create a tech stack of tools.
Ask your employees what tools they use and the reasons why they’re beneficial. Then create a master list of tools and require everyone to use the same tool stack. This way, your employees won’t run into potential software conflicts and will present a more unified look to outsiders.
Remove All Distractions
While you probably can’t do much about the noise coming from the gardener with the leaf blower, you can ask your employees to insulate themselves by closing their windows and moving to an interior room. That should help keep the noise distractions to a bare minimum. The same goes for Fido and Mittens—put them in another room for the call duration.
When on a call, ask your employees to avoid checking email and performing other tasks while someone is talking. It’s really easy to see their eyeballs dart from side to side as they check other tabs on their internet browser. The same goes for their phones—it’s not hard to see someone glance down at their cell phone screen.
Log in Early
Due to the nature of the internet, tech gremlins will inevitably rear their ugly heads at the worst possible time. This is why you should ask your employees to log into the conference call at least 10 minutes before when it’s scheduled to start.
Have everyone check their microphone, camera, and make sure that everything works before the call starts. It’s a pain for all involved to spend the first few minutes of a conference call having to troubleshoot the camera or microphone of one person.
This is also a great time to collaborate and chat about the upcoming call. Ask your team members to have relevant tabs and documents open, so they’re not searching their computer live on camera. This allows everyone on your team to get on the same page before the start of the conference.
Marketing Help in Raleigh
Now that the “new norm” has become “the regular,” it’s time to step up to the plate and put on a more professional appearance. This will not only instill trust in your brand when communicating with outside parties, but it will allow your workers to be more efficient while working from home.
At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, we specialize in marketing, printing, and signage. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your sign and marketing needs, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (919) 832-2828.