With the current situation in the world right now, a lot of people are working from home. While this is not something new to me, personally (I've been #WFH for about a decade), it's definitely unknown territory for many people who have never done this before. As you work from home, you may still need to participate in work meetings and conference calls for projects or just to check in.
So if you're new to the work from home scene, what is the standard etiquette for work conference calls: do you have the camera on or off? It's more like a combination of both.
It's nice to still have social interaction with everyone
I'll admit it right now — I'm a pretty introverted person. I am often shy around other people unless I really know them, and it's hard for me to speak to new people without feeling incredibly nervous. So working from home works wonders for me, because I prefer not having to deal with others. But I will also tell you — it gets pretty lonely after a while. Sometimes, even if you're an introvert, you miss just being able to interact with others in the workplace.
I turn my camera on. I think the face to face interaction helps with communication and it shows effort. Shout out to @MicrosoftTeams for their video blur background effect. I have my dekstop in the room and it would blur my bed and details.I turn my camera on. I think the face to face interaction helps with communication and it shows effort. Shout out to @MicrosoftTeams for their video blur background effect. I have my dekstop in the room and it would blur my bed and details.— Edward (@edwardhalim) March 17, 2020March 17, 2020
I usually keep my camera on during our weekly team meetings here at iMore, though I don't always say much compared to my coworkers. The reason I keep it on, even if I don't talk, is because it makes the meetings feel more personal and fun, especially if we can all see each other's pets! Since I work by myself at home every day, it's just nice to see the other people I work with daily, even if they're just a bunch of pixels on my computer screen. And since my work just involves text, it's easy to forget that I work with a bunch of other amazing human beings.
Sometimes you'll want it on or off depending on the meeting you're having.
But no matter the situation, having it on is a better experience for everyone involved.
Or perhaps you have it on to motivate yourself to get dressed properly and not be lazy — whatever works for you!
I turn mine on. It forces me not to get lazy in my PJs. Personal preference though :)I turn mine on. It forces me not to get lazy in my PJs. Personal preference though :)— Christain Billings (@chrillings) March 17, 2020March 17, 2020
But sometimes it's best to have it off
Of course, while maintaining social interaction with your coworkers is important and essential in preventing feelings of loneliness and isolation, there are times when it should remain off. These times involve work meetings where a presentation's involved, so your camera isn't really necessary. Plus, it may be distracting for others, especially if a cute cat is walking in front of your camera.
I also recommend keeping your microphone off if there are a lot of people in your meeting. This reduces the amount of noise that people hear in their headphones or speakers, especially if there is echo from your speaker that is getting picked up by your microphone. The time to unmute yourself is when you actually need to say something to everyone else.
And well, if you don't want everyone else to know that you're working at home without pants or from your bed, then you should probably keep that camera off.
I do a bit of both. It's on if we are all up and dressed and off if the wife or kids aren't dressedI do a bit of both. It's on if we are all up and dressed and off if the wife or kids aren't dressed— James Bricknell (@keridel) March 17, 2020March 17, 2020
How are you adjusting to the #WFH lifestyle?
It's not new territory for me, but it is for many of you out there right now. There is definitely an adjustment period, but hopefully some of these etiquette tips help you decide when it's appropriate to have your webcam on or off during work conference calls. It may be temporary, or it may last for a while — remember, we're all in this together.
If you want more tips from working from home, make sure to check out some of the methods the iMore team uses for maximum productivity.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.