Working from home? Here’s our top 5 tips for video conferencing
With 'non-essential contact' off the cards for the foreseeable future, the way we communicate has changed entirely. Right now, everyone is needing their own customised solution to working from home and needing to manage their time efficiently while being able to communicate effectively with co-workers. That's where video conferencing technology comes in to help create some semblance of social connection.
Nobody can deny the surge in demand for video conferencing during the current crisis, and there has been a lot of discussion that looking forward, society is taking a ground-breaking shift towards a flexible remote working lifestyle.
Companies that had the technology to allow this but not the culture have had to adapt. Likewise, companies that had the culture but not the equipment to allow this had urgent installations put in place prior to the UK lockdown.
At Mediascape, although we are taking the temporary action of not installing, we still have our expertise on the do's and don'ts of video conferencing. So here are our top 5 tips to help those of you working from home!
In most cases, written communication is accompanied by video meetings, also called video conferences.These can be scheduled many days in advance or can be announced almost "on the spot", so only hours or minutes before they are initiated.
When working from home, it is not uncommon for a lot of people to remain in their nightwear, or "loungewear" outfits, and while it's important to be comfortable, this might not be the right move for a video call. Wear clothing you would normally wear to the office or for a meeting, particularly for a meeting you would normally wear business dress to.
Try to avoid stripes or bold patterns entirely as they can often create a strobe on camera which is off-putting others on the call.
Make sure your device is ready
The most important step is to check your internet connection is optimal. The last thing you want is a laggy connection which disrupts your audio and visuals. Consider purchasing adapters that will allow you to use your ethernet port in the off chance your Wi-Fi connection suddenly drops.
If you are using a laptop and not a desktop, check that it is charged or that you have a plug and a charger near you if needed. You also need to make sure your device has access to your camera and microphone, and any additional option that could be needed such as screen-sharing.
Make sure you are fully prepared
Preparation is always key. This includes having points prepared that you might want to discuss during the call, but also includes having any accessories ready like your earphones or headphones.
Check your surroundings and ensure what people will be seeing on the other side of the camera is acceptable. This can include making your bed, tidying the space, putting away any things you wouldn't want your co-workers to see and having the lights on or the blinds open for clear camera lighting.
Optimise the audio quality
Audio quality can make or break a meeting. Make sure you know the different forms of audio you can use and how to adjust your volume when you need to.
Be sure to sit a reasonable distance from the microphone, and make sure there is no unwanted noise around you, such as the TV on, or music playing in the background. If you are not speaking, a useful tip can be to put your microphone on mute and turn it back on when you want to say something. If you have to type whilst on videoconference, make sure you mute yourself, turn off your keyboard sounds and maybe don't type too harshly.
Avoid any distractions
We all remember the viral blunder when Professor Robert Kelly's live BBC video call was interrupted by his children with perfect comic timing. None of us want that!
It's important to find a private place to take a call and let anyone else in your home know you will be in a meeting so you can minimise interruptions. This also includes turning off the TV and/or music that might have been playing in the background.
Put your phone on silent and avoid checking social media and personal emails during a video conference. Remain focused on your call and what your colleagues are saying- people will be able to tell if you don't!
We offer video conferencing and meeting room solutions for all your large-scale audio visual needs and are happy to discuss any requirements of your future installations with you! Please get in touch with our team who are working from home by calling 0141 333 0110 emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out our contact form here.