According to Statista, in March 2021, 70 percent of employees across the globe were working remotely from home. Fifty-one percent of them expect to still be working remotely from home after six months, and 31 percent expect to work from home permanently.
In the United States, a survey by Indeed Hiring Lab shows that as of February 2021, 23 percent of employees reported that they were working remotely. Job postings for remote work increased to 6.9 percent from 2.9 percent in January 2020.
Several major companies announced that they are extending remote work from home as a possible permanent arrangement for some of their employees. Others are discussing a hybrid system where employees only report to work a few days a week. Among the companies that expressed their intention to embrace this new work normal are Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Spotify, Dropbox, Shopify, Skillshare, Upwork, Slack, Square, REI, Zillow, Hitachi, Mastercard, Nielsen, and Coinbase.
A recent survey by Statista shows that in the United States, 72 percent of employers intend to invest in tools for virtual collaboration, 70 percent plan to invest in information technology (IT) infrastructure for secure virtual connectivity, 64 percent will train managers to handle a virtual workforce, and 57 percent plan to enhance conference rooms with improved virtual connectivity. This shows that many more companies are gearing toward mostly remote work.
How to Dress Online
Working remotely from home means having online meetings, consultations, seminars, workshops, and conferences. Even if you are at home, you must dress professionally for each of these events. Remember that you must project a credible persona.
Unless it is a major conference where everyone must be in full business attire, the standard clothing for online meetings is business casual. Choose solid colors and if you wear a print make sure it is not too colorful or distracting. Use minimal accessories and make sure they do not create noise.
While some people do it halfway and only dress up on their torso, this is not advisable because you can forget and stand up while your camera is still on. Remember that many of these events are being recorded so your major embarrassment will live on and can even leak and go viral. To stay comfortable, you can wear soft slacks.
Be Ready for Your Closeup
Because the camera is focusing on your face, make sure that you tend to your skin. If you have acne that can be distracting, get treatment and find a suitable concealer. Cleanse your face of blackheads and blot it to remove oil and shine. Women must not overdo makeup; use just enough neutral and natural colors to look polished.
Do not attempt to hide your flaws with poor lighting as this will just give a poor impression, as well. During the day, natural light is the best if your desk is near a window. To prepare for meetings at any time of the day, invest in a good ring light that gives you a bright but warm glow. This will be most flattering for your skin.
If you lost a tooth or several teeth, this affects not just your smile but also your facial structure. You can opt to get dentures or more permanent dental implants. If you use braces, replace reflective ones with versions that blend with your teeth. Remember that the camera magnifies your face onscreen.
The camera angle is also crucial in showing your best features. If the camera is too low or too high, people will be either looking up your nose at your hairline. The ideal position for the camera is just above your eye level and you must raise your laptop if necessary. Maintain eye contact and engage with your audience by looking into the camera and not the pictures on the screen.
Prepare Your Environment
Make sure your background does not show clutter. Also, it is not suitable to show your bedroom behind you. There must be no people walking behind you during a call, and especially not to go in and out of a bathroom within view.
Often, the bedroom is the only place you can take a call without extraneous noise because you can shut and lock the door. In this case, it is best to acquire a folding divider in a neutral color and design that you can use behind you while you are in a meeting.
A Zoom background can also work but stay away from beach scenes and other vacation or whimsical themes. Stick to professional-looking templates instead. You will need a plain background, preferably green, for the Zoom background to look good. You can purchase one online that you can attach to the back of your chair. Just make sure that you do not move your chair during the call.
Use earphones or earbuds that come with a microphone so that you can hear clearly, and you can be heard. Do not stand up and move around while on a call.
Finally, you must wrap up your preparations with confidence. Sit up straight and smile at the camera. Do not forget what you are discussing. After all, form only comes after substance.