To cam or not to cam, that is the question…

Most of us have been working remotely for almost a year now and are well accustomed to video conferencing and what is/isn’t acceptable. 

The Ministry of Education in British Columbia, Canada, hit the news this month after a school trustee lit a cigarette and appeared to be drinking alcohol during a zoom board meeting. We’re all for friendly and relaxed work meetings at IM (and we may enjoy the occasional team zoom happy hour on a Friday…) but if any of our employees did this during a client video conference we’d have a heart attack. 

There are many factors we can’t control when taking meetings at home, like your dog going wild as the post comes through the letterbox, or noisy coffee machines and other people speaking when you’re in a co-working space, but it’s important to always maintain a bit of video etiquette when your camera is on… 

Make an effort with your appearance.

Of course most managers or clients won’t expect you to be dressed in a shirt and tie like you would be at the office, but it’s important to still look slick and professional (top tip: Zoom has a beauty filter – under video settings click “touch up my appearance”. That’s helped us out on a few early morning calls!) Plus, you’re more likely to be productive if you’re dressed to work, not still in your pyjamas. 

Think about your location.

A benefit of remote working (before Covid lockdowns happened) is you can take your meetings from anywhere. Consider what the environment you choose says about you to your clients. If you work for a corporate company you’re likely to already have a home office set up, but if you’re a freelancer or work for a creative agency it can be inspiring to take advantage of co-working spaces that represent you, or the work you do.

Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do during an in-person meeting.

This takes us back to the smoking and drinking alcohol point. Eating is another thing that splits opinion, is it ok to eat your lunch during a video meeting? It depends what kind of company you work for and who your audience is as to what’s acceptable, but in general if you apply the same etiquette you would to an in-person meeting, you’ll be fine.