Teleworking: these embarrassing moments to avoid at all costs

Untimely interruptions, inappropriate dress code, strange noises in meetings… If they are not vigilant, nomadic workers can find themselves in embarrassing situations.

Bare-chested and tanned on screen. In the middle of a work meeting. While he thought he was only on speaker, an executive from a software company appeared topless on his collaborator’s screen. His webcam had inadvertently turned on while he was working remotely.

Such an anecdote is far from exceptional, according to the Wall Street Journal, which tells the story with humour. And if the bare-chested man was “honestly very handsome”, the embarrassment that followed was very real. “Companies are increasingly letting their employees work remotely,” says the American newspaper. But nomadic workers also realize that this freedom comes with many pitfalls."

The risks of having to deal with a computer problem or being interrupted in the middle of a business meeting are thus high when working from home or abroad. However, this can lead to credibility problems and weaken the scope of the message you want to convey. The most striking example is Professor Robert Kelly’s viral video, cut off by the arrival of his children during a live BBC interview. Since this incident, he has been asked before each TV interview if he has locked his office door.
Barring intruders from the road

Now “extremely vigilant”, the researcher recommends setting up “physical obstacles” to avoid being disturbed. A technique used by many remote workers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some block the entrance to the room where they are standing with chairs, cushions and sometimes even signal tapes similar to those surrounding crime scenes. Others put “Do Not Disturb” signs on their office doors and notify their friends and family before their business meetings.

To avoid impromptu video calls, many also choose to invest in plastic caches to attach to their webcams and phones. “After an extremely embarrassing experience, we want to be sure that it will never happen again,” explains a nomadic worker in the pages of the business newspaper.

However, he points out that, most of the time, no one dares to make remarks in an embarrassing situation. Everyone prefers to forget this embarrassing moment and act as if nothing had happened.

source: The Wall Street Journal