For those who are lucky enough to be able to still have employment and work from home, video conferencing has become a huge part of the job.
Entertaining videos have been circling the internet of conferencing mishaps. Although they are funny, it is important to stay professional during work calls to make the process more productive. The following tips will help you become a pro at professional video conferencing and ensure you don’t accidentally become the next viral fool of the internet.
Fit the part
Although you are at home remember you are still working. It is important that you are dressed appropriately for work. Think about what you are going to be doing during the video conference before you decide to do business on the top, pyjamas on the bottom.
Pick the right spot
Make sure you choose the correct spot for your call. Pick a place that isn’t too bright or too dark to ensure everyone can see your face. Think about what it is behind you. It is best to go with a blank wall to avoid an accidental appearance from your housemate or partner.
Look at camera
This might seem like an obvious suggestion but for those who are easily distracted, looking around the room or fidgeting is not a good look. Looking at the camera will show your fellow employees that you are listening and engaged.
A computer microphone can pick up lots of background noise. To avoid your co-workers hearing your kids, the dog or the next-door neighbour’s mower be sure to use headphones. Keep in mind that the microphone is very close to your mouth when you’re wearing headphones, so it’s best to mute yourself when you aren’t talking.
Nominate a leader for the conference
Video conference calls can become very chaotic when there are a lot people on the call. Nominate the leader of the call. This person can set the agenda of the meeting to avoid people accidentally speaking over each other due to time delays. For example, “Firstly, Alex is going to talk about her project, then we will hear from Amy.”
Keep it snappy
Before scheduling a video conference, think about whether it is necessary. If this meeting could be easily explained through an email, instant message or even a quick phone call it’s best to try that first.
Get creative – keep it fresh
Working from home can be very lonely. To boost morale and continue the fun social side of the office, put some time aside during the call to talk about non work-related things. Whether it is everyone introducing their pets or talking about a new isolation hobby they’ve picked up, it’s great to keep positive and have a little bit fun.