This section goes into detail about the optics, perception, and expectations that coworkers and others will assign to you when doing remote work.
Think: dog barking, being on time for virtual meetings, lighting yourself during virtual calls, communication strategies, etc..
How can you be the best remote worker you can be and through your good work allow your coworkers to thrive as well?
Having high quality sound can help you look more professional and make it easier for your clients to work with you.
Most modern computers come with decent microphones, but to get better quality, you should look for a dedicated usb microphone. There are even microphones that provide noise cancelling so less background noise gets into your call.
Background noise is a bigger deal than you think.
Make sure to pause notifications while in meetings so you don’t get distracted. Having those notifications may give off the impression that you are not focused on your client. There are even microphones that provide noise cancelling so less background noise gets into your call.
[In-Meeting Notifications] – asdf
Make sure when using a new technology that you have tested your audio and video before the meeting.
Make sure your camera is on so people can see you. If your camera isn’t on, it may lead people into thinking you are working on other things while speaking with them and you don’t want that.
You should look professional when meeting new clients. That may involve wearing a nice button down or blouse, or making sure your hair is taken care of. Either way you want to show your clients that you know how to take care of yourself and that you respect them.
Consider your background and scenery for your video. If you don’t have a great looking background, you may want to think about getting a backdrop or screen to hang behind you. This will help them stay focused on you.
Make sure your kids know when you are in meetings so they don’t barge in and distract you unless there is an emergency. Sometimes clients may not mind if you know them well, but for new clients you should stay focused if you can.
Make sure your pets are taken care of before the meeting so you don’t need to let them out right in the middle of a meeting, or even worse they go in the house.
Make sure before you screen share with a client that anything distracting or personal is closed or removed. I have seen many embarrassing things over the years that were easily preventable.
When screen sharing with a client, you may be able to decide to share your whole screen on just one application. Usually sharing as little as needed is a good policy. You don’t want them reading any message notifications that come in during your meeting.
When working with others, you can share your screen which will allow others to see what you are working on, but sometimes you want to share a document so they can work on it with you. In that case using something like Google docs is easy and free.
Vacations and Calendar
Just like working in an office, you can set vacation times and blockout your calendar so people know that you are gone. You don’t want to look like you are working but be at the beach when someone is expecting you to be on a meeting call.
You can set up Out of Office notifications in your email and other applications like Slack. This will notify your clients that you will be unavailable during a certain time, or that they can reach you another way during an emergency.
You may choose to work 9-5 from home or to work some other times. Either way, you should inform your clients so that they know when to reach you. It is so easy these days to be accessible anytime and to feel guilty when you are home and not working, but you should set boundaries so that you do not burn out.
I used to always reply to my clients as soon as I got a notification, even at 1am! Now I have learned to set boundaries and they know the hours I am reachable. If there is an emergency situation I have made prior arrangements on how to handle those.