It has come to my attention that some people aren’t dressing appropriately for their virtual meetings. Although you may not dress as professionally as you did when you were going to the office, I implore you to put an adequate amount of effort into your on-screen appearance. Connecting with your coworkers via Zoom or a similar platform instead of face-to-face doesn’t give you license to show up unkempt. It goes without saying that you should be fully dressed from top to bottom. Please don’t skip the bottom half because you think no one will see it. Anything could happen; you could be asked to stand up for a brief team stretch one day. Footwear is the only aspect of your look that is optional.
For meetings of a professional nature, a button-up shirt will look just fine. I usually opt for a white or blue shirt and an A-line skirt. Aside from my everyday stud earrings, I accessorize with either a dainty gold necklace or a silk scarf around my neck. I make sure my hair is ready for the camera, and if the situation warrants a little extra polish, I’ll take a few minutes to apply a bit of tinted moisturizer, brow pencil, eyeliner, and mascara.
When the time comes to turn on the webcam, I utilize a white wall with decorative molding for the background. I want people to pay attention to me (not my belongings) when I speak. I level my laptop with my face and shoulders for the best vantage point. My standing desk has been particularly useful to this extent, but, even when the desk is raised fully, I still require a few books to elevate the computer the rest of the way.
I realize that most people who started working from home due to the current state of things may not have a home office or a space that lends itself to a makeshift one. As with everything in life, you’ll have to do your best. You may not be able to orchestrate every aspect of your setup perfectly, but you can put on a clean, wrinkle-free outfit, do your hair, and make sure your face is presentable. With a bit of creativity, you should be able to raise your laptop or webcam to a height that flatters your face. Also, I shouldn’t have to point this out, but I will for good measure: attending virtual meetings whilst in bed is not professional behavior. Your coworkers shouldn’t have to look at your bedsheets, no matter how nice they are.
If you’re congregating with friends, no one should care what you or your background look like; a friend is someone who accepts you regardless of your appearance. However, I suggest that you show up to your virtual happy hours looking presentable so that those closest to you aren’t left to unnecessarily question your wellbeing. Of course, if you haven’t been doing so well in the current situation, it’s a good idea to confide in trustworthy friends and family members. But, if you’re thriving, there’s no need to give those closest to you the impression that you are unwell.
Warby Parker Jennings glasses (old); GLDN Yue Necklace; J.Crew slim perfect shirt in Baird McNutt Irish linen