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Saturday, 30 May 2020

What's the etiquette for greetings on video calls?

When you meet face-to-face, you can start with “good morning” or “good afternoon”. This can be achieved with a subtle check of your watch, or some convenient clock, or even — and I’ve heard of people doing this — actually looking outside to see where the sun is.
But when it’s a video call (or even a telephone call) where the other person is in a different time zone do you still say “good morning” (because it is your morning) or should you say “good afternoon” (if it’s their afternoon)? What do you say when you join a call with people in many different time zones for whom it might even be the middle of the night? Is the appropriate thing to do to keep an almanac of all the world’s timezones on hand (including Summer / Winter daylight savings time changes), so that you can give the right greeting?
And on that, is there a way of subtly emphasising that you had to get up at some ungodly hour (like 8:30am) to make the call at a time convenient for everyone else? Is this a situation where you should deliberately put the video on so that everyone can see you are still in your pyjamas, or is that a bit too unsubtle to get sympathy?

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