The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

In a strict blouse and no pants: rules and mistakes of business etiquette in the era of remote work


Source: Adsider

Why is it not worth sitting under a lamp during a video conference and what a shirt for Zoom is, Alexey Korchak told in his column on Adsider.

Photo: Shutterstock

For those who managed to save work during quarantine, remote mode has become the norm. Meetings and meetings have finally moved to Google Meet and Zoom. And if at the beginning of a pandemic the Web discussed the convenience, security and technical characteristics of video conferencing platforms, then after a while they started talking about the urgent.

My home is my office

Having played enough with virtual backgrounds in Zoom, the Americans began to equip their home space for virtual negotiations. According to The New York Times, in early March, when a third of the world's population went into self-isolation, the number of searches related to the Zoom background on Pinterest grew by 1%.

Demand generated a proposal: designers began to advise on how to properly organize the background for video communications. Among other things, they recommend placing simple compositions of lamps, vases and books behind their backs, as well as choosing a wall without patterns.

Screenshot: Reader / Pauline Pars / YouTube

For business calls, a background of calm colors is suitable - gray, beige or brown. But aggressive colors, like red, orange and purple, will annoy the interlocutors.

Interesting fact: in the first quarter of 2020, Walmart sold more t-shirts, shirts, and tops than underwear.

Designers are also advised to decorate the desktop with small accessories. When choosing objects, it is important to remember: simpler means better. Do not show expensive watches and paintings in the frame; it is better to surround yourself with books or plants.

Zoom experts advise never to sit directly under a light source. Light falling from above will create shadows around the eyes and under the nose. For lighting to be successful, it is best to sit opposite the window.

Screenshot: Tina Yong / YouTube

The laptop’s camera is not advised to point at glass or another reflective surface, otherwise you risk showing your colleagues your uncleaned housing.

Duty Bow

At the beginning of the pandemic, office workers put on jackets and ties for video calls, but today holding a virtual meeting in this form is considered bad form. Perhaps after three months of quarantine, the most comfortable clothes for the remote job were home workouts, a simple blouse and pajamas.

As the journalist of The New York Times Joel Stein found out, during the quarantine period, most Americans have a “shirt for calling”. Typically, the Zoom Shirt hangs on the back of a work chair or on a hanger near the desktop so that it can be quickly put on in case of an unexpected meeting.

The requirements for the Zoom Shirt are simple: it must be neat and wrinkled so that it can be thrown onto a sofa or chair and put on when needed.

If you wear the same shirt on all video conferencing, colleagues will not even notice.

Zoom Shirt is used in different ways: some take off their shirt immediately after a video conference, others wear it all day. The Zoom Shirt style can be selected for the interlocutor. For a meeting with the management, something business is suitable, for colleagues and friends - casual. But buy a large number of Zoom Shirt is not worth it. Stein checked: if you put on the same shirt on all videoconferences, your colleagues will not even notice it.

In the meantime, women are also looking for clothing suitable for phoning. In the top - square neckline. When choosing T-shirts, T-shirts and blouses, experts advise to remember that during a video call, the neckline is always at the eye level of the interlocutor and looks more open than in a personal meeting. It also does not hurt to have a bra for video conferencing - Zoom Bra. It is no different from the usual one, it simply should always be at hand, because many women in quarantine go around the house without it.

New business etiquette is already affecting the market. According to data provided by NYT, in the first quarter of this year, the Walmart retail chain sold more T-shirts, shirts and tops than underwear.

On the subject: Prepare, disinfect, work, teach: how a pandemic complicated the lives of women

New etiquette

Most likely, after quarantine ends, most of the meetings will remain in the online format, which means that business etiquette will become less formal over time.

In April, the Los Angeles County Judge called on his colleagues to wear suits and robes for video calls. After that, the Texas Department of the Judicial Administration held seminars for judges and lawyers, which told how to sit during a virtual hearing and what to wear.

The Kansas Supreme Court is meeting at Zoom. Screenshot: Associated Press / YouTube


A member of the royal family has no right to violate the protocol even during a call using Zoom

Public care is even stricter. In early May, British journalists criticized Prince Harry for his disheveled appearance on The One Show, which he aired via video link. Journalists concluded that a member of the royal family has no right to violate the protocol even during a Zoom call.

There are no such strict rules for office employees. If today you join a video meeting in pajamas or a funny print t-shirt, you will most likely cause emotion from your colleagues. But after a few months, an inappropriate view in Zoom may cost you a bargain.

The habit of wearing work clothes at home has its advantages. Even at the beginning of the pandemic, the American Psychological Association warned that self-isolation is likely to affect people's mental state. A sharp change in lifestyle and the uncertainty of the future can cause a person anxiety and fear. To cope with them, experts advise to adhere to a clear schedule and everyday rituals, even in quarantine. Perhaps we all would do well with a little discipline.

Original column by Alexei Korchak published on the portal Adsider.

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