1. Learn a few stealth moves.
If you decide to leave the room during the call, make sure it’s during a time when no one will notice. When you’re the next one on the agenda, it will be fairly obvious to everyone on the call that you’ve left your computer.
2. Type softly.
A few times throughout the call I took notes. The good part is that when we finished, I had clear notes about what we discussed. The bad part is that I usually hit the keys too hard (bad habit) which can be hard on everyone’s ears.
3. Don’t post messages on Facebook during the call.
When clients and co-workers have access to your Facebook account, they’ll know whether you’re spending more time on your wall than on the call. They may even point it out to everyone during the call, as in “Did you just post something on your wall?” which can be a bit embarrassing.
4. Keep private conversations private.
While you’re waiting for everyone to connect to the online call, make sure others can’t hear you talking on your cell phone. Maybe I’m being picky but I don’t want to hear about what you’re wearing or what you want your spouse to wear (or in some cases not wear) later that evening. There are some icky things you just can’t erase.
5. Keep your dog entertained.
If you have a dog, put him outside, send him to a neighbor’s house or give him a Kong filled with peanut butter to keep him busy and quiet. No one wants to talk over a barking dog, especially when the dog barks as loud as mine.
The final thing I learned during the call is that I like audio chats better than video chats. The best part is that I can sit at my desk in jeans and a t-shirt (makeup optional) while I know that the corporate execs on the other end of the line are dressed for the office.
When you work from home, every day is Casual Friday!