Thinking they can get away with sloppy thinking, writing, responding, dress, planning, integrity, disposition, etc. — because no one sees. Wrong. Everything that goes on behind a monitor can be sensed, felt, surmised by the other person. If a plant responds to someone’s attitude (as Prince Charles believes), a horse can sense fear running down the reins, a dog can feel your attitude towards it — then a fellow human being can perceive it even if only through electronics. So, we can’t assume we can get away with lower performance or less effort because we’re not always face to face.
Do appearances matter more or less for virtual professionals?
First, appearances matter whether they see you or not because YOU see you. I had more than one female executive tell me they slip on a pair of high heels before they write an email and put lipstick on before making a phone call. One male executive says he brushes his teeth before he leaves a voicemail message to make it cleaner. When using Skype or FaceTime: check the lighting, check the backdrop, check the volume, your posture, clothes, hair, etc. In other words, plan and practice before you go live.