While we may be separated right now, that hasn’t kept the Young Business Leaders from learning and networking. This week, we hosted a Zoom Happy Hour with guest speaker Kelly A. Quant, Program Manager at Wings For Success Kennett Square, where she spoke about the importance of embracing the remote-working realities of the coronavirus age and provided tips on transitioning back into the office.
Zoom in on Your Meeting Etiquette
Video conferencing is the new normal, but are you practicing proper Zoom etiquette? (Looking at you unmuted multitasker.)
What to Wear
Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. This is ever truer when working remotely. Be sure to put your best face forward by doing your hair and makeup and have a blazer at the ready for any pop-up meetings. When choosing your outfits, make sure your top contrasts with your background and always wear pants (see GMA video here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/us/good-morning-america-will-reeve-no-pants-trnd/index.html.)
When it comes to creating the perfect space, think about lighting and what your background looks like. Make sure your light source is in front of you, ideally behind your computer or laptop. If your back is toward the light source, say a window, you will look dark and grainy. If you do not have a natural light source, grab a lamp and take off the lampshade and place it behind your screen. You can always increase the brightness on your computer screen as well. The key is to have the lighting illuminate your face.
In terms of background, be sure there isn’t any clutter that could be distracting and try to find a quiet space. If finding a quiet space is an issue, use your smart device as a white noise machine which acts as a sound absorber.
Like any tech, be sure to test before use. Sign on early and make sure you have a strong wi-fi connection or cell phone signal. Try unplugging other devices in your home so that you have enough bandwidth. Consider wearing a headset to help with your sound and be sure to mute yourself when you are not talking. (Quick Tip: Press and hold down the space bar when using Zoom to temporarily unmute yourself.)
If you are in a large group, remember to introduce yourself before talking, especially if the meeting is a phone conference with no video. If you are going to be late or can’t make a meeting, remember to reach out to your host beforehand.
Now that you are a Zoom-master, here are some tips on how to work more efficiently at home.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
If you find that you have more down time, try and catch up on emails and reports. Stay in contact with your supervisor. Make sure they know you are keeping up with your daily tasks by sending an email highlighting what you accomplished that week.
Keep learning. Attend webinars, explore social media and the virtual world. This is our “new normal” and what we accomplish now won’t be temporary. Be prepared to bring your new skills with you as you transition back into the office.
Understand expectations. It is important to understand priorities and make sure you and your boss are on the same page. You may be working on new tasks and contributing in different ways, so consider asking your boss to update your job description to fulling envelop your role.
So you finally mastered working remotely and just like that, it’s time to get back into the office. What will that look like, and how will it be different?
Transitioning Back into the Workplace
This will look different for everyone. Some people may have thrived working from home while others struggled and missed the social interaction. It may take time to rebuild workplace morale; don’t just dive back into normal routine, as it may take time to transition.
Some companies will continue having employees working from home. A recent survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics showed 41% of employees will likely work remotely at least some of the time post COVID19. They also found that 74% of CFO’s intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently, and 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased in their company because of greater flexibility.
When and if your workplace reopens, you will have different health standards as well as new policies and procedures to follow. Who knows when we will be able to shake hands again or how many people will be allowed in the office? Be sure your employer has a plan in place before returning to your office and that they are following CDC guidelines.
Lastly, embed what you learned. Utilize those new skills and demonstrate that you are qualified to take on new projects. This is a time for growth and opportunity, so take advantage of your new skillsets and continue to be the rockstar that you are!
Kelly Quant, Wings for Success