Love it or hate it video meetings and calls are here to stay, but are we recognising these interactions as an extension of the way that people and brands are being presented and perceived?

Due to the affects of the global pandemic, video conferencing and calls have grown exponentially over the past 12 months and have played a vital role in keeping many businesses going.  With Microsoft Teams unsurprisingly seeing a staggering growth in use of 894% by June 2020 and Zoom 677% growth in the same period, there are now over 400 million daily participants of Zoom and Teams combined.

With expectations that many of us will not be returning to the office or will replace extensive travel for face-to-face meetings with video calls, we think that it is important to consider how we not only overcome the benefits of the subtle cues of physical presence, but also how we ensure that we are presenting a consistent face of our brand, when our individual home and surroundings are so diverse.

We agree that, on the whole, it has been a positive move towards flexible working, inclusivity, diversity and increasing levels of understanding, with an earth shattering realisation that we are all indeed human, with kids, dogs, doorbell interruptions and the like.

But when we consider all of the elements that reflect your brand: your office, your personal greetings, your dress code, customer care, how do we ensure that these are also reflected ‘virtually’?  This is a point that many companies have not had chance to really consider yet, in the reactive environment we have been thrown into of late.

So, we have put together some top tips from our own thoughts and experiences, though we are looking forward to hearing about your top recommendations, gripes, loves and stories too on our facebook page.

  1. Get good WiFi !!! If you haven’t invested yet, now is the time as there is nothing more frustrating than freezing and buffering taking up valuable time.
  2. Agree a dress code or call etiquette for your team. If you wouldn’t normally rock up to an important meeting in a hoodie and a beanie, then why do it on a video call?  Remember they can still see you (no nose picking) and you are still the face of the company.
  3. No washing hanging in the background please! Nobody wants to see your pants drying in the background, set yourself up with a specific camera position that offers a clean and clear (maybe branded) background…careful of what lurks on that bookshelf to!
  4. Camera on/camera off. Whilst there may be technical reasons for turning cameras off, if some people have cameras off and some have cameras on this could feel a little rude or intimidating.  You wouldn’t sit with your back to someone in a physical meeting, would you?  Agreeing in advance a unified approach to each meeting could be a good start.
  5. Agree a meeting chair and a note taker. This really helps things run more smoothly.
  6. Hands Up!! The disadvantage of virtual meetings is missing the signs of that subtle shift in the chair or eye contact to signal a request to interject.  ‘Hands up’ function does feel a little like we are sat on the carpet at primary school, but when there are more than 3 or 4 people things can run a lot smoother if those who aren’t talking pop themselves on mute and put their hands up when they have a comment.
  7. Mic On/Mic Off? It is often hard to manage background noise at home, so as a rule of thumb we would recommend mic off until you want to speak…….though this does invite what is probably the most used phrase of 2020, “YOU ARE ON MUTE!”

Pop over to facebook @WeAreFruitMarketing to share your zoom gripes or delights, we’d love to hear from you.


23rd March 2021 - Jo Wood