Has your Zoom attire become more informal?
PerfidiousPorpoise 14 Oct 20 07:54
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In the early stages of WFH quite a few of my colleagues would still be trying to keep up appearances, appearing in nice shirts on video calls, etc. But it seems things have grown lax: sweatshirts, T-shirts. Some of them have even stopped turning on the camera.

I am currently rocking my disney dressing gown.  I have a shawl that I throw over.  My boss did a Teams in his pyjama bottoms last week and leaned back so we all saw it.

I DID try to improve my sartorial elegance last week by actually putting on a SKIRT! But I had to change back to jeggings 30 minutes later to do the pigs...

I wore a shirt for one meeting but otherwise people seem to be wearing whatever they fancy.

I've had the camera on twice since March i think.

I almost never put my camera on. What a bizarre idea.

I only wear three-piece lounge suit on 'Zoom'. Full morning dress seems a little OTT.

In seriousness, how on earth do you get away with not using the camera? Very frowned upon here.

I have noticed some PP solicitors trying it. I just tell them I can't see them, and is there a problem with their connection?

Given the rather unconventional haircut I have at present, I could turn up to a zoom meeting in a bra and knickers and I doubt anyone would notice.

Agreed Dux. Cameras on should be mandatory for internal meetings. Almost all my external meetings have switched to cameras on now too. 

You're working from home, not hiding from your coworkers

I had a zoom call with a QC who was wearing a hoody the other day. I will instruct him more often, clearly a human being 

In seriousness, how on earth do you get away with not using the camera? Very frowned upon here.

I have noticed some PP solicitors trying it. I just tell them I can't see them, and is there a problem with their connection?

Why do you need to see them?

Surely the important thing is what they are saying, and if they have nothing to say then they don't need to be the centre of attention (and arguably they don't even need to be there at all).

It’s a substitute for a physical meeting and I want to see their reaction to what I’m saying rather than trying to guess from tone of voice.

Hair and make up done, smart clothes, every single day

but then I am a) well vain and b) find I can cope with pretty much anything if I've got my armour on

It’s a substitute for a physical meeting

So is a conference call. It's just another way of doing one of those.

Risky seeing if you can fart loudly enough for zoom to think you’re speaking is part of the fun.

Very unusual not to have the camera. You can't really force people though. 

For meetings in which I am participating as one of many rather than being a principal I don't have the camera on. 

With the camera on you have to pretend to be interested the whole time, rather than using the meeting as a chance to get on with some other work and just switching your microphone on when a point arises that requires your contribution.

I wish camera off had dug in at my place.  The culture is absolutely everyone with camera on.  It's fucking HORRIBLE.  10 hours on video calls in a day and I'm fucked.

I think the "cameras on" people are the same people who believe in a culture of presenteeism and are missing the good old days when they could show just how brilliant at the job they were by being in the office until at least 8pm every night without fail. 

We have one of those in the office and he very rarely works from home either. Believe me, everyone would like to see his face and hear his voice less, not more.

We don’t insist on cameras for internal.  If external folks insist, then ok.  Prolly cos we all ming I think.

We had an expert determination a few weeks ago who began the hearing by saying once we've all said hello can everyone please turn their cameras off unless they are presenting their submissions because I am not interested in seeing any of your faces. Heh.

Actually I was just thinking video calls as a whole are worse for presenteeism.  I've just had an internal meeting that I'd happily have skipped in real life as it's unlikely anyone would have noticed I wasn't there but doing it by video they can see how many people attend and it's like someone taking the register at school.  I now feel obliged to turn up to pointless stuff that I'd previously have "forgotten" to go to.

Nah, sorry. Anyone who hadn't switched their camera on for months for internal meetings would be seen as a proper weirdo.

It's not "presenteeism", it's just facilitating a basic level of human contact between coworkers. 

I think the "cameras on" people are the same people who believe in a culture of presenteeism and are missing the good old days when they could show just how brilliant at the job they were by being in the office until at least 8pm every night without fail. 

I agree.  And the same people who boorishly dominate meetings despite not having much of use to say.  The problem is when senior leadership always uses cameras and this becomes expected and people have to explain why their camera is off.  That is certainly the case at mine, and it's gash.  And it happened with COVID.  Working from home used to be a treat and a counterbalance to the endless shit every day, and now it's been turned into as big a grind as being in.  I fucking hate COVID for that.

Weirdest thing about cameras is people increasingly using video calling for one to one internal calls. What the actual fvck. I don't need to see you now any more than I did when we used the phone previously. 

 

Hardly anyone switches them on here so pretty sure I am not seen as a "proper weirdo". Maybe there is just a general culture of presenteeism at your place.

on my patch there is more camera over time, not less.  but also more informal clothes.  i'd be interested to know who the hoodie silk was, i'd definitely instruct on that basis.  

I have one colleague who injects himself into everything but it's not limited to video calls and he did in physical meetings and even on the team whatsapp group.  I think it's just youthful eagerness but does tend to come across as wanting to be centre of attention.

Tbf, we don't use zoom but an internal app thing. For me it's just a pain to open the laptop as it sits under my screens and then the wires get loose and the screens switch off etc. Voice only is far less stressful and energy consuming I find. I never had a lot of face to face meetings before and most were a waste of time and completely inefficient anyway, so this suits me well.

Maybe there is just a general culture of presenteeism at your place.

There wasn't before.  And there isn't a culture of presenteeism in the sense of long hours, mainly because most of our the people I work for and with have global roles and so there are no set hours.  The video thing is a weird cultural shift that started with COVID ("this is a crisis, it's like a war, we all need to see each other during crisis management") and never stopped. 

There's no difference in how I dress at home and in the office but I'm never really comfortable in real casual dress and I'm used to being pretty dressed down in the office, i.e. jeans and trainers were perfectly acceptable already.

I agree.  And the same people who boorishly dominate meetings despite not having much of use to say.  The problem is when senior leadership always uses cameras and this becomes expected and people have to explain why their camera is off.  That is certainly the case at mine, and it's gash.  And it happened with COVID.  Working from home used to be a treat and a counterbalance to the endless shit every day, and now it's been turned into as big a grind as being in.  I fucking hate COVID for that.

Our place was quite bad for this during lockdown. Previously WFH was something that people did once or twice a week if they wanted to, whereas lockdown forced people who never previously WFH to do it.

My boss started scheduling daily team catch ups which he wanted to have after his daily catch ups with senior management so he could update us on the latest situation. Fine. But it meant they were scheduled to start at about 6:30pm and would invariably actually start later than that, and then all the "people who boorishly dominate meetings despite not having much of use to say" would have to say their piece, and the people who lived alone and hadn't seen another human being for weeks would want to chat, and in the meantime it's gone 8pm and people are dropping off because they have to put their kids to bed or their dinner is going cold on the table. Nightmare.

Luckily this eventually dropped off to twice a week and then once a week and then since people started coming back in again these meetings have been scrapped altogether, and so we've found a nice balance with WFH being far more accessible for those who want it, but with no more mentalness instigated by the people who can't cope with it.

jeans and trainers

Unorthadox camera angle!

LP that's why my place instead brought in the Friday virtual pub so that the people who hadn't seen another human and just wanted to chat could do so as part of voluntary session.  A once a week compulsory catch up is otherwise quite sufficient and the zoom forty minute cut off means it doesn't drag on with people waffling.

"the zoom forty minute cut off "

Surely you have Zoom Pro?

LP that's why my place instead brought in the Friday virtual pub so that the people who hadn't seen another human and just wanted to chat could do so as part of voluntary session.  A once a week compulsory catch up is otherwise quite sufficient and the zoom forty minute cut off means it doesn't drag on with people waffling.

Yes, this is actually a good idea and I would be up for it.

I am also trying to bring in virtual coffee breaks to catch up with colleagues I haven't seen in a while. I can definitely see the point of the camera for that sort of meeting.

We do but for internal meetings stick to the basic so our team meeting invariably ends with my head of department saying "under a minute to go so I should just say..."

I don't do casual m8

I even wear make up to go to the shops in case I bump into someone I know 

and nothing worse than staring at yourself on a camera. *makes botox appointment*

A nice shirt everyday are an absolute min for me. I never cared if peps saw my jeans when wfh before so that hasnt changed

I've toned down the background though, I started off having garden with rose bushes in the backround when calling from conservatory but now accept that was khuntstyle for peps in shared flats. 

Camera on except for internal meetings over 2-3 hours when not presenting (5 hours just "looking interested", no ta) . All senior staff/ committee calls are camera on, its da rulz. 

Always on for external and wot dux said about diff panel lawyers with diff camera preferences (eff that, I literally want to see the whites of your eyes when either negotiating with other side or panel lawyers are answering questions on advice).

Always on for external

Really? I would have thought it's easier to justify camera off, as pre-Covid people would just be dialing into a conference call. 

nothing worse than staring at yourself on a camera

That's one of the reasons why I keep mine switched off. I get too distracted thinking, "hmm, maybe I should get my hair cut shorter", and then I realise someone is asking me a question.

Much easier to focus when you can't see your own face in the corner. 

PP most of the video calls I've done are direct replacements for physical face to face meetings.  For conference calls I've continued to use the phone as usual.

PP most of the time external calls are where I'm negotiating/after sommit so IMHO camera on means I can seek camera on from them too (rarely refused) and seeing them helps to see how stuff lands

I work in Fintech. We have always had very casual attire (jeans and t-shirts are definitely the norm) and always had a cameras on policy (even before everyone was WFH). I'd say 95% of people do have their cameras on.

I now have an image of Queenie strutting down the Tesco aisles looking like a young Joan Collins.

Internal meetings - wear whatever the hell I like. Tshirt. Strappy top. Whatevs

External meetings - reasonably smart top so that I don't look like I just rolled out of bed. As per the PJ look of internal meetings.

Cameras... well it's currently a pain to open up the laptop to get the camera working and then my laptop gets pissy working with the main screen and things run super slowly with delay so I have to unplug it from the dock and move it in front of my face and it's all a faff. We often don't have them on to "improve connection." If I can turn it off I will.

Having said that, work are planning to courier a fancy brand new huge screen that has a webcam built into the top so there'll be no more faffing about for meetings.

I use video if it is a meeting I’d ordinarily have attended in person if in office, otherwise dial in.  Not rocket science really.  

I dress the same, business casual.  The risk of getting too lazy is real for me if I started getting too casual.  I like routine.  

I think the camera on people are the same people who believe in a culture of presenteeism

 

That would make sense if you were talking about zoom v phone conference calls, as you do not always know who has joined the latter. But if it's zoom you can generally see who is at the meeting, whether their video is on or off. And so at those meetings, I take the opposite view: if your camera is off I assume you want people to see you are their but you are in fact watching netflix. 

Not if the person is actually contributing to the discussion. And if they're not, then who cares whether they are there anyway? 

Camera on / off seems to cultural. Some places are off, and they ALL do it. Almost like there's a pressure to conform to whatever the norm is in the company. 

When yours is on, and theirs is off - seems a bit stalkery.

 

Did one yesterday and the guy on the other side (I've known him for more than a decade but not had contact in about 2 years) - they were all cameras off, but he was remarking on my shirt and background. Banter, but a bit odd to do it when he's consciously hidden. 

Once had a senior partner dial in whilst wearing a shawl collared cardigan, in a dimly lit room. Somebody asked whether it was a bathrobe.

I was taking the minutes at a committee meeting with all the top people of the company, CEO CFO etc etc and someone presenting via teams came on wearing a shirt & tie.  Everyone, starting with the CEO, mocked him.

My normal work wear in the office is now jeans & t-shirt