The Hand-y Etiquette of Modern All-Remote Culture

Ivan Novikov
2 min readMay 14, 2023

In today’s fast-paced digital world, remote work has become the new normal. With the rise of video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, we have adapted to an all-remote culture where communication is largely virtual. One aspect of this culture that has become increasingly important is the visibility of participants’ hands during video calls. Hands have become an integral part of the modern video call etiquette, as they serve as a clear indicator of a person’s attention and presence.

Take, for instance, the common scenario of employees multitasking during virtual meetings. Cameras may not always focus on a person’s eyes, making it hard to gauge their level of engagement. However, hands offer a candid snapshot of their activity. When hands are visible, it demonstrates that participants are focused on the conversation and not clicking around on their screens.

This practice has proven to be particularly useful during interviews. As employers increasingly rely on video calls to screen candidates, ensuring that the interviewee’s hands are visible helps determine whether they are genuinely knowledgeable or simply googling answers on the fly.

The prevalence of hands as a de-facto standard in modern video conferencing is no coincidence. It’s a universal signal that is easy for our colleagues to read and appreciate. When your hands are on display, you are subtly conveying your involvement and commitment to the conversation.

In a recent virtual team-building exercise, for example, a project manager noticed how one of her team members always kept their hands visible during calls. She appreciated this gesture, as it demonstrated the team member’s attentiveness and dedication to the task at hand. This seemingly small action strengthened the sense of trust and collaboration within the team.

Another example comes from a sales professional who closed a significant deal during a video call. He made sure to keep his hands in view throughout the negotiation, which helped build trust with his client. This simple act contributed to a successful outcome for both parties.

So, hands have become an essential component of modern video call etiquette, reflecting our dedication and engagement in an all-remote culture. By keeping our hands visible, we send a powerful message to our colleagues, employers, and clients that we are present, attentive, and invested in the conversation. So, the next time you hop on a video call, remember to keep your hands in sight — it’s a small gesture that speaks volumes. Do you agree? Please comment.



Ivan Novikov

CEO at Wallarm. Application security platform to prevent threats and discover vulnerabilities in a real-time.