WFH: Advice for Successful Video ConferencingMarch 31, 2020
The days seem to be blending together, but let’s give today a name: Tuesday!
By now many of you have been video conferencing frequently while working from home. Here at ROKiT Phones we’ve been enjoying a daily check-in to start each morning. We find that this helps to energize our team and get us focused for the work day.
Now that we’re old pros, we have some helpful advice for making the most out of your video conferencing experience. As well as some warnings for what to avoid on these calls — trust us, your boss will not appreciate seeing the Nirvana Nevermind album poster in your background during an important meeting.
Get Ready for Your Closeup
We don’t judge you for wanting to live in sweatpants all day, every day during this time. That’s your right. But remember that the parts of you visible on a video conference should be work-appropriate. The best rule of thumb to follow is to get ready like you would for a normal day at the office. At least from the waist up.
Do a Background Check
Make sure the space that others can see behind you is presentable. Clean up any messes and take a look at your decor with a critical eye to check that it is safe for work. The goal is to avoid any distractions on the call so that you and your team can focus on the agenda. Pro tip: some video conferencing sites allow you to set a virtual background, which could be a good solution if your home office is not camera ready.
The “mute audio” and “mute video” options will become your best friends! We recommend keeping your audio on mute when it’s not your time to talk, especially in a large group meeting. Get comfortable with muting and unmuting so that you can chime in whenever appropriate. Muting your video will be helpful if you need to get up at any point (especially if you are wearing sweats) or if something distracting comes up in the background of your workspace (kids and pets love to make surprise appearances).
Say No to Food Blogging
Don’t eat during your meeting, unless it is meant to be a working lunch or a virtual happy hour. During a regular video call, chowing down can come off as rude and distracting to the rest of the participants. If you are totally swamped with work and have no other time for your meal, mute your audio and video while you are eating as a courtesy to the group. But as a general rule, just eat between meetings.
This applies to all work meetings — virtual or not — but it’s especially important here because some video conferencing applications set limits on meeting lengths. Notify the group if you are running a few minutes late and test out your audio and video — including lighting — before joining the call. Be sure to have relevant notes and visual aids queued up prior to the video conference for easy access, especially if you are called upon to share your screen during the meeting. Speaking of which, clean up your computer’s desktop and close irrelevant tabs in your browser while you’re at it.
Go with the Flow
Talking over people is particularly disruptive during a video conference due to occasional glitches in audio. Do your best to be patient and wait until your colleagues have finished speaking before chiming in. This will prevent breaks in the conversation, and also help out anyone taking notes. Additionally, save time by avoiding side conversations. If an issue comes up that warrants a longer discussion, table it and schedule a separate meeting on the subject. Your coworkers will thank you.
Now is the time to get comfortable with video conferencing to maximize your productivity and keep your team going strong. You’ve got this!
Check back with us for more helpful tips and follow @rokitofficial to keep up to date with all things ROKiT!