Do your workers need 'vidiquette' training?

Every successful professional understands the importance of business etiquette – but is your workforce overlooking the online version?

Do your workers need 'vidiquette' training?
Every successful professional understands the importance of business etiquette but, according to one industry expert, some workers may be overlooking a modern development which requires its own unique set of manners.

Polycom’s Amy Barzdukas is a self-confessed “workplace of the future evangelist” – she says increased globalisation and a rise in telecommuting means many professionals now conduct much of their business over video rather than in person.

Despite the major shift, Barzdukas says some employees are still held back by poor video etiquette – or, as she calls it, vidiquette.

“People have been accustomed to being on conference calls where nobody can see you,” she explains. “Well if you roll your eyes or make hand motions people can see you now – it’s very different.”

Barzdukas says she was inspired to write a blog post – Don’t Be A Vidiot – after spotting a number of common mistakes which served as distractions while on video conferences with other companies.

“The whole point of having the video is to drive the human connection and if what you’re driving instead is just a whole host of distractions, you’ve missed the point,” she told HRD.

As well as the obvious slip-ups, Barzdukas says employers should be training their workforce to be aware of more subtle issues, like camera position, background noise, and even the clothes they’re wearing.

“You also need to be sensitive to the lighting so you don’t inadvertently position yourself so you look like your identity is being kept a secret for some reason,” she said.

Now, Polycom has launched a six-part web series on vidiquette – a light-hearted way to address an issue that Barzdukas says can have a big impact in business.

“Anybody who is coming in over video, if you are making a case say you’re asking for funding, you’re looking for support for a project, being able to make those arguments and those points with a real human presence over video, you want to make sure that you’re paying attention to those little details,” she said.

To find out why certain clothes just won’t work on camera, click here to watch the first episode of Polycom’s vidiquette series.

Related stories:

Are we on the verge of ‘peak human’? 

Are your meetings fair and inclusive? 

VR technology may soon replace conference calls 

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