During a time of uncertainty, working from home, and lack of face-to-face interaction, Zoom—or other video conferencing programs—has been a saving grace for many corporate teams around the globe. In this Zoom 101 series, we are taking a look at how interpersonal communication has ebbed and flowed at Dot and how employees use Zoom as a tool to stay connected.

The beauty of using technology such as Zoom is that you get to chat with your team “face-to-face.”

When District Sales Manager Matt McPherson started working remotely, he realized that not every Dot employee turned their camera on during Zoom meetings. He would leave those meetings feeling disconnected and disengaged.

“Selfishly, for me, when I was working in the St. Louis office, I really didn’t have the awareness during internal meetings to have Zoom set up properly or encourage other people to turn their camera on,” explained Matt. 

“Now, being a remote employee, I’ve realized that’s really isolating when our remote folks can’t engage in the level of conversation the folks in the office are.”

After experiencing that feeling time and time again, Matt started to worry about how that was impacting other remote employees and the way they play a part in Dot’s culture. 

“Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of the conversation, the community, and that they are always contributing to the culture,” said Matt. 

“So, when I felt like I was on the outside and couldn’t actively be a part of that—it pushed me to be like ‘Hey, there are so many people connected to the St. Louis office who work remotely. Imagine if we engaged these folks more. What would that do for the company?’

But, when Matt started encouraging his co-workers to turn their cameras on, he received a lot of mixed reactions. 

“It was a mix of people who did it immediately, people who didn’t respond at all, and some excuses like ‘Hey, you don’t want to see me looking like this,’” said Matt. 

“But I think it just has to do with everyone’s level of comfort.”

Matt explained that some people like to have their home life and their work life separate—and he completely understands that sentiment. When you’re at home, you feel like you’re in your domain.

“But,” said Matt, “over time, more people get used to it. And I really do think the pandemic just accelerated all of it to a forced point of comfort.”

How to be Your Best Self on Zoom with Your Camera On

1. Be Patient
Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, so much information has been published about “Zoom fatigue.” It can be exhausting to be on Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting. So, be patient with yourself and with your co-workers.
2. Be Full in the Picture
No one wants to stare at your forehead when they are on a Zoom call with you. If your camera is on, make sure that your whole face is in the shot so your co-workers can more easily interact with you!
3. Find Some Natural LIght
Natural light can be a game changer for Zoom calls. If you can sit in front of or next to a window during your call, it will make all the difference. That being said, be sure you don’t have your back to a window—that can make your images turn out dark and make it difficult to see your face on camera!
4. Have a Good Attitude
Treat your meeting mates with the same kindness and professionalism you would treat them with if you were seeing them in person. Ask everyone how they are doing and try to not get frustrated if you accidentally get cut off due to camera lag or slow internet. Everyone is in the same boat as you and can understand your frustration!

Overall, there is a lot of technology out there that remote employees can use to stay connected to their team and co-workers. The key is knowing how to take advantage of those resources to optimize your remote working experience. 

What do you do to stay connected with your team? Let us know by mentioning us @DotFoodsCareers on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram!

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