The coronavirus lockdown has brought with it a slew of social rules that are frequently changing and difficult to navigate.
Exercise (with) caution: Debrett’s stressed that it is your responsibility if you are running or cycling to ensure you leave others with enough space to pass you comfortably. Stock image
Make way for others
Confused about who has right of way? Avoid the game of chicken before one of you eventually steps into the road by being the first to move aside (assuming no oncoming traffic, of course). Particular consideration should be shown to wheelchair users, the elderly or infirm, and those with buggies or small children.
Exercise (with) caution
If you’re out jogging or cycling, it will be harder for others to get out of your way in time. The onus is on you to ensure you’re allowing them enough space. Alternatively, save your exercise hour for the early morning or evening when it’s likely to be quieter.
Don’t forget to smile
It’s an anxious time, and as we all become less accustomed to venturing outside, we might feel inclined to avoid eye contact and stare at the pavement. Spread a little positivity by smiling (or, if you’re wearing a mask, nodding hello) to those you pass – from a suitably safe distance, of course.
WHEN ON ZOOM MANAGING A TEAM
Be visible and available
Mr Wesson said: ‘Things are tricky right now, but you can help everyone by talking honestly and openly. Take time to talk about how the business is responding, and address individuals’ concerns on a personal level where possible.’
Be careful how you communicate
‘While it’s no longer possible to speak to team members in person, be wary of relying on email if you’re having to discuss a sensitive issue or deliver constructive criticism. Email can be a blunt instrument when it comes to expressing anything difficult or contentious, so schedule a call instead. You can always follow up by email if you need written confirmation of what has been discussed.’
Debrett’s Academy director Rupert Wesson said: ‘Remain animated but not manically so – it’s best to keep physical gestures subtle but confident, and hands relaxed. If you’re seated, sit up straight but don’t be too rigid. Standing is arguably easier for feeling at ease – just don’t wander off camera.
Pay attention to your eyeline
Mr Wesson said: ‘If seeing your own image on screen makes you self-conscious, keep it out of your eyeline and concentrate on your audience instead. It might help to imagine that they are directly in front of you, rather than focusing on a screen full of faces.’
Angles are important
Jonny Pollard, of jonnypollard.co.uk, said: ‘If your camera is below your eye line, it will not be flattering. Use a box or anything available to raise the screen so the webcam is level with your hair line. Centre yourself in the image, and distance yourself from the camera so you can see from the top of your head down to your chest. A shot with just your head can be too intense for your audience.’
WHEN LIVING TOGETHER
Do not monopolise the communal space
Debrett’s senior business development manager Dan Scothern said: ‘Dominating communal spaces or monopolising particular items (such as the TV or phone) is likely to chip away at any healthy household dynamics.
‘If more than one of you are working from home, it’s best to assign individual workspaces and perhaps implement additional measures so that the house can operate as normally as possible.’