What you need to know:
- Few organisations would allow their employees to cast away professionalism on account of a pandemic.
- Some clients or partners would take offence interacting with parties on business video calls who are either shabbily dressed.
Q My line manager recently told me that she is unhappy with how I was dressed during a Zoom call. She claims that am not taking my job seriously, yet I have met all my objectives. She thinks I dress better when I am in the office and I suspect she prefers it when I work from there. Does it matter what I wear when I am working from my house?
The manner in which Covid-19 has altered life makes the resumption of our former posture towards work and the workplace unlikely. There is every chance that some of the concepts the pandemic has forced us to adopt will remain, including working from home.
While many people can work remotely, how they conduct themselves while at it has largely been left to individual interpretation. Some consider it should not matter how one is dressed, claiming that dressing has no bearing on productivity. Others believe that dressing affects how one feels and approaches tasks.
Doubtless, it is a reasonable expectation that video calls should not be opportunities for individuals to undermine professionalism. Some clients or partners would take offence interacting with parties on business video calls who are either shabbily dressed or who improvidently display barely covered torsos.
What kind of shirt were you wearing during the Zoom call? Who else was on that call? Would you wear the said shirt to the office?
Speak to your supervisor concerning her expectations of how you should dress during video calls.
You might then understand her point of view as you also seek to have her understand yours. Few organisations would allow their employees to cast away professionalism on account of a pandemic. Achieving results is critical but how you go about it matters too.
Fred Gituku - Human Resources Practitioner; [email protected]