When a web meeting is mentioned, the typical reaction we have witness people’s eyes lighting up and an image of them sitting at home in their pyjamas. Sounds like the most blissful experience, doing work from your home in comfortable clothes. Sounds ideal don’t you think? Well not exactly..
Let me explain.
There are two main aspects that are influenced by the way you dress for an online meeting: how it will help you do your job, and how it affects the way others see you. Let’s walk through both of these key points.
How business attire will help you
A recent study found out that the respondents who wore formal business attire felt most authoritative, trustworthy and competent compared to others. The way the respondents dressed had also an impact on how creative and productive they perceived themselves. Thus, the way you dress doesn’t only impact on how others see you, but also how you see yourself. Don’t just dress to impress others. Dress to impress yourself.
Dressing for a meeting can be considered part of preparation. Once you wear the right clothes it surely feels like you are ready to attend a meeting. You will certainly have the right mindset and readiness while wearing appropriate clothes (rather than when wearing your usual homewear). Getting into the right mindset for collaboration is vital especially while working in the comfort of your own home.
Furthermore, the clothing we wear influence our abstract cognitive processing. Sounds too… well… abstract? Let me break it down for you. Abstract processing allows you to reflect on ideas and information. Reflecting benefits you greatly when the meeting is over. You start working on the issues and objectives presented during the meeting. Thus, the right clothing doesn’t only prepare you physically to attend a meeting, but it prepares your mind to work on the right way as well.
How business attire help others see you
There is a reason we wear certain type of (business) clothes to business meetings. We want to give out a professional look and generate a positive first impression. You wouldn’t wear flip-flops or a tank top to a meeting at the office, so why would you wear them to a web meeting?
When you’re dressed in an appropriate way for a certain role, you will most likely act the role as well. It is important to consider your position, as in whether you are an executive or an employee, as well as which industry you work in. For example, a multinational CEO would most likely wear a nice suit, whereas a UX designer would probably wear more casual outfit. Both of which would be most certainly OK and expected from them. As Daymond John said in Entrepreneur.com interview: “Always dress to what is accurate to who and what you are.” Show dedication, but don’t be a show-off.
During video conferencing you should not only focus on what you look like, but also what you sound like. The following applies mostly to women. Since sound is the key element of being able to collaborate real-time and remotely. Stay clear of using distracting and noisy jewellery! The clanging sound might be overpowering when you are expected to communicate through a microphone. Read more on how to reduce background noise in online meetings.
We have discussed the reasons why it is important to dress appropriately when attending a video conference. Many people might say that it is okay to wear any kind of clothes as long as they aren’t visible. However, remember that you might need to get up in various situations, such as when adjusting your device or grabbing some documents. This is where your outfit becomes exposed to those in the meeting. Play it safe and wear appropriate clothes for your role. That way you avoid uncomfortable situations where your potential new business affiliates see you wearing Batman pyjama pants. We all have owned a pair at some stage??