In recent weeks, employees around the world have been catapulted into the brave new world of working from home. While we may not be able to help you with your endless snack supply problem or your new family/pet/plant co-worker dynamics, we do have some pointers to help you to Dress for Work (from Home) so you can excel at your next video conference or interview!
Number one rule: eye contact
It goes without saying that eye contact is essential to demonstrate that you are actively listening and paying attention, and this remains true for video conferencing. Resist the urge to look at the people on your screen (or worse, at yourself) and make sure to look directly at the camera to ensure eye contact. Try to place your phone away from the computer for the duration of the call as glancing downwards can look very obvious on camera.
Leave patterns for IRL
Spot, stripes and other bold patterns may be eye catching in the real world, however in the world of video conferencing, they rarely come across well on camera. If possible, stick to block colours and keep in mind that all white or all black can cause your camera to auto adjust the brightness and affect the resolution quality. Blues, greens and neutral colours all work well on screen.
Accessories – less is more
Avoid distracting earrings or necklaces as they tend to be more visually pronounced on a small screen and can draw attention away from your message. Ensure you are mindful of any bangles and bracelets that make noise when you move as this will get picked up and amplified by the microphone.
Posture, posture, posture
Posture, much like eye contact, can determine whether you are actually switched on, or ahem, phoning it in. Ensure that camera is eye level or higher to so that you can sit upright and comfortably. Sit away from the camera so that there is sufficient background and your face does not fill the whole screen.
Remember, while we are all for the undeniable comfort afforded when working in pyjamas, it goes without saying that you should treat any video interaction with co-workers, stakeholders and clients as you would at work – that is, follow usual work dress code (waist up).