Alright, listen up! Sure this BYOD/telecommute/working-from-home thing is sweet – it can save your company a bundle, get you into meetings you couldn’t otherwise touch with a stick, and save you a lot of travel time, but you have do your part too. Here’s the thing:
A lot of you have stuck your home office in the garage or wherever your spouse stores the shovels, and you sound like you’re at the wrong end of a bus station. You roll out of bed one minute before the day’s first meeting, and with your poorly-aimed camera we’re treated to a glimpse of your Snoopy pajama bottoms (that clip-on tie doesn’t fool anybody) and some of the worst bed-hair ever committed to video. Some of you don’t even have video, you call in with your muffled “cellphone voice” and let the wireless network shred every fifth word.
I’ll let you in on something. You’re competing with everyone else on that meeting, and they sound like they’re right there in the room. They’re dressed for business, and unlike you they don’t just look like backlit silhouettes snipped from black paper by that whiskey-breath guy at the carnival. You need to engage with them, whether it’s to defend your budget request or to explain something simple, so you have to be as “here and now” as they are. Otherwise you’re just an unshaven shadow on the call. Unfair but true; if you don’t fix that, your words won’t be taken as seriously as theirs. So here are some tips to enhance your credibility, stay efficient – and when it comes to it, have a lot more fun with whatever you’re doing.