DEAR HARRIETTE: My company has videoconference calls every day, often several times during the day. I have noticed that the women hardly ever show their faces. We just see their names across a blank screen, even when they are talking. The men typically show their faces. I imagine this is because nobody can get to the hairdresser or any other grooming place, and women don’t feel pulled together now. I wonder what the etiquette is for participating in these calls. My gut says it would be much better for people to be fully participatory, meaning showing their faces. -- Video Call Etiquette
DEAR VIDEO CALL ETIQUETTE: The new business world includes ongoing videoconferencing for many people. I agree with you that it is smart to be visible on these calls, at least when you first join in on the call and whenever you speak. In this way, you humanize yourself during the conversation.
It is also true that many people are struggling with grooming and maintenance during this extended period under stay-at-home orders. To all, I suggest that you figure out how to look your best professionally, and that should include what you wear. You may not need to wear a suit jacket, but think about your industry and who will be on the various calls you have. Dress appropriately for that moment. Be sure that your hair is neat. Also pay attention to your background to ensure that you move anything out of the shot that you would prefer not be seen.