What a great idea telecommuting is, right? You can occasionally stay home and still get work done. You can spend more time with your family. A worldwide meeting is never farther than your phone. The dress code can be pajamas. It's a great deal! Teleconferencing though, brings the world into your little office-away-from-the-office, and when it does, it's time to be professional again. I've chosen three lesser-known tips to help you maintain that professionalism, even while wearing bunny-slippers.
Avoid the Leather Chair – Or at least, test the chair before the teleconference. When I first heard this tip, I couldn't help but laugh. You see, some leathers make a particular noise when you sit down, or shift your weight. That noise, well, let's just say it can be misconstrued. But funny or not, avoiding the noisy leather chair can prevent embarrassment.
Lock the Door – Kids are a delight, they're our future, and a comfort in our old age… but that's years away. Right now, they may not always understand the sanctity of your home office. Locking the door prevents their squealing laughter from bursting in during your serious presentation. And never underestimate the perfect timing an oblivious spouse can have when they walk in asking a personal question—usually involving a private, health-related issue of yours—in a loud clear voice, easily picked up by your headphone mic.
Ensure a Pet-Free Zone – One of the best parts of working from home is quality pet time. But when a teleconference is about to start, it's time for our furry buddies to go. You don't need Mrs. Whiskercat to suddenly decide your mouse is a… well, a mouse. Nor would it be good if—using a personal example here—your Scottish Terrier abruptly barks madly at a squirrel-sneeze three miles away. I'm sure I don't need to mention that mixing teleconferences with birds that can talk and mimic your voice is a bad idea too. Fish can stay, as well as the more quiet turtles. And the 300-pound gorilla… yeah, he can sit wherever he wants.