When you think cutting-edge information about working from home, you might not think of Walmart. But since they sell more stuff than anyone else in the country, they know a thing or two about what people are buying. And what they are buying are a lot of new tops… and not a lot of pants and bottoms. Why? It’s the new fashion requirements of web meetings.
With more people working from home than ever because of COVID-19, there has been a huge increase in the number of webcam-enabled meetings. WebEx usage is up 200%. Microsoft Teams and Skype meetings are up 500%, and nobody’s stopped to count Zoom meetings, which have grown exponentially.
Busy, stressed out workers have learned two things that I learned a long time ago, especially living in Las Vegas where business casual means you wear shoes: Under most circumstances you need to be on-camera, but only from the belly button up.
I may or may not have attended important web conferences in a shirt, tie and cargo shorts. I will neither confirm or deny. A lot of people have learned the same thing, and are maximizing comfort while maintaining a veneer of professionalism.
This isn’t something I recommend—there is plenty of evidence that dressing for work significantly impacts your attitude, morale and professionalism. I also know that sometimes you just need to meet the bare minimum.
So if you’re dealing with people working from home, be grateful they are working and that they’re dressed (as far as you know)… and don’t ask them to stand up.
For more on coping with working form home during the COVID-19 crisis visit our dedicated website.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Co-Founder and Product Line Manager
Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute. For twenty years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It – a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Management-Issues.com.
Wayne, along with Kevin Eikenberry, has co-authored the definitive book on leading remotely, The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.