What’s Your Virtual Presence Like?

July 26, 2023

Bethany Whitted

Bethany Whitted

According to Forbes, As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model. That means that 40.9% of workers are remote at least part of the time.  

A young woman working in a home office

Capturing Connection from Behind the Camera

With so much of our work carried out virtually, our way of establishing “presence” takes a different form. What I mean by “presence” is the way you come across to people, your ability to build trust, and your ability to let your personality come through in your digital interactions. 

For most Gen Zers, interacting digitally is second nature. However, many workers have lived their entire career live, in-person, and now have to navigate not just the ability to use technology, but the ability to relate to others through technology. 

Just as there are nuances to our in-person interaction that make all the difference, there are nuances to our digital communication as well. A firm handshake demonstrates confidence and friendliness. A lack of eye contact signals we’re not listening. On the digital side, sending gifs to coworkers through a team chat builds morale, and reading an email in its entirety and responding promptly shows we’re listening. 

Here are three things you can do to enhance your virtual presence: 

  • Sit 2-3 feet away from your camera when on a video meeting. One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to videocommunication is having their cameras too close to their faces. The closer to your face, the higher the probability we can see up your nose and the more cut off we are from your body language. People should be able to see your shoulders and watch your arm movements as you talk.  
  • Prioritize informal, regular touchpoints. Sending a quick message of encouragement, or even a quick, “Happy Friday!” to your team signals that you are present. You could call it “virtual friendliness.” It can be easy to neglect these informal touchpoints, but over the course of a year, for instance, they make all the difference in establishing your presence. 
  • Don’t take advantage of the freedom to multitask. It’s never been easier to sift through emails during a meeting. You must consciously choose to put aside other tasks when on your video calls. While multitasking during meetings can feel harmless, it divides your attention and therefore takes away from your presence. At the heart of great presence is full engagement in the moment. While you might be able to get away with some multitasking in the short term, in the long term, those who bring undivided attention to every virtual meeting will stand out in their ability to build trust.  

Could your team use some help in establishing healthy remote communication and digital presence? We offer private team sessions to deliver solutions for remote and hybrid teams. Contact us at: learning@titustalent.com for more information and next steps. 


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