Richard Maun – Please Wear Trousers

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Please Wear Trousers

5 April 2020

Suddenly many of us have become our own TV studio. We have lights, a camera, a microphone and the ability to mess it all up really quickly.

What we lack is a director, to make sure our ‘set’ is appropriate and a wardrobe department to make sure our clothes are in keeping with our character. We also lack a lighting director, to ensure we are not in shadow.

We also lack a green room. This is a comfy space where we can get our thoughts in order, touch up our make up and rehearse our lines.

Instead we are happily working away at our desk and then, with one click, we go live!

We are on screen and broadcasting to the world, without so much as a moment to smooth our hair.

I’ve noticed that colleagues who always wear a shirt and collar to work find themselves at ease online wearing any old t-shirt.

Dress-down Friday has become come-as-you-are any day!

It’s important to recognise we are allowing people into our homes and adjust to this accordingly.

When we are on camera, what can people see behind us?

Have we forgotten that the mic is live and people can hear us shouting at the kids to be quiet?

Are we deep in a business conversation, only to be thrown by small people popping into our workspace to show mummy a picture?

Or we’ve forgotten that the washing machine is due to begin a noisy spin cycle any second now? (Ditto a noisy husband with a power drill).

Working online can give us flexibility and connect us amicably with colleagues.

And we can inadvertently over-share our home life.

Here’s a story…

I had a situation where a colleague was online from a hot country. They had clearly skipped indoors to make our Skype call, fresh from their sunlounger. Half way through our meeting their dog nosed the door open and, without thinking, the colleague stood up and shooed the dog out.

No trousers.

Just swim wear.


I said nothing.

I did wonder though what might have been the outcome if the call had been a job interview, or a tough business negotiation.

We are all facing business anxiety and yet we can take a moment to think about our online TV studio.

Do we need to reposition a desk lamp?

Would it help to hang a sign on the door, to ensure it stays closed?

Are there any ethical considerations we need to be mindful of? (Perhaps it’s not appropriate to make certain calls perched on our bed?)

I’m hopeful that online working will continue to be used once we are through the current lockdown situation. It does give people flexibility and saves wasteful journeys.

I’m also hopeful that we can all have productive online meetings and that we remember to wear trousers at all times!

Keep well.

Next week: My Favourite Joke


Click cover to view details on Amazon


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Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact