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Don’t Let Zoom Erode Your Credibility: Three Tips for Keeping Meetings Professional

Working from home has gone from a temporary emergency-measure to a new normal for many people. Some organizations have announced their employees will continue to work from home through the remainder of the year—or even beyond. As working from home drags on, don’t get too comfortable. Professionalism counts, now more than ever. Here are three tips to keep Zoom meetings on the right track:

  1. Sit still. One of the challenges of working from home is that our personal and professional spaces blur. Many individuals become lax during meetings, popping in and out with frequency. For example, leaving the meeting to get a glass of water—sometimes even taking their laptops with them, resulting in an impromptu tour of their houses. The cardinal rule is to treat a Zoom meeting with the same professionalism you would an in-person meeting. If you would politely sit in a meeting and wait to use the restroom until it’s over, you should do the same in a Zoom call.

  2. Dress the part. Jokes have abounded about the irrelevance of your outfit from the waist down; however, there remains a good reason not to sport a blazer with pajama pants. Not only does dressing professionally show seriousness and respect to those you’re meeting with, it helps you feel more prepared for a work day. Getting dressed for work in the morning and changing into something more casual at 5:00 is a valuable way to create some work/life balance when working from home.

  3. Engage interactions. Be more intentional about greetings and closings during Zoom calls. Meetings can inherently feel more scattered in an online platform. The host plays a crucial role by focusing the meeting through thoughtfully greeting each participant and providing a clear summary before ending the meeting.