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Keep Your Manners Near While Working From Afar

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on just about everything in our daily lives. It certainly is an uncertain time for many organizations with ever-evolving challenges as revenues slow, strain on staff goes up and new ways of doing business must be embraced. It's important that you gracefully navigate these challenges and stay focused and productive to make it through this storm better than before.

Set the tone. Yes, you’re home all day, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t also at work. Dress for success to prepare yourself for the day. You don’t need to dress up but do dress well. How you present yourself to the world impacts how you feel and helps set the tone for your day. And we advise against the work-mullet – dressing professionally from the waist up and casually from the waist down – for video conferencing. What happens when you need to get up from your chair and everyone sees your ensemble? The mullet really didn’t work as a hairdo then and it really doesn’t work as a part of your work wardrobe now.

Be on time. Respect your colleagues by being on time for all work calls and video conferences. The reality is that everyone is having to juggle home and work life right now. Some are sharing computers and confined space with working spouses, partners, or roommates and some also have children added to the mix. “Meetings” that start late, go over or need to be rescheduled can throw a wrench in their household schedules. Be sensitive to that by doing your part to be on time and prepared for your "meetings".

Focus on manners. There's an increased need for manners when using technology because there are increased opportunities for slights and misunderstandings. We can’t always get the full picture – hear the voice, understand the tone, and see the body language. In everyday face-to-face interactions our entire body helps us communicate with others. Some of that is lost when everyone is working from afar. What would obviously be considered a joke in person can often be considered an insult over the phone. Speak clearly and slowly enough for others to hear what you are saying. Smile when you talk – it helps you come across better - more confident, collaborative and gracious. Wait an extra second or two before responding to help avoid talking over someone. Don’t interrupt others.

Best wishes in the days and weeks ahead, and we look forward to the time when we can return to something more akin to normal.

Have a marvelous week -

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