With the majority of office workers following government guidelines to work from home where possible, remote working has entirely become the new normal. Video conferencing is an invaluable tool for teams to come together, for both work and social purposes.
It is important, however, that video conferencing ensures the work is still just as productive and successful as it would be if the team were together physically in the office. This guide will outline some useful tips to ensure you are getting the most out of video conferencing.
Strong quality equipment
The central resource required for video conferencing includes a computer or laptop with a webcam. These webcams are not specifically designed for the sole purpose for video conferencing, and as such, can pick up on other noises and general audio, such as birds or traffic outside. Background noise is often easily heard, and can distract both yourself and others from the important topics of conversation.
Instead, an important habit to introduce is to use a headset with a built-in microphone. This will be focused directly in front of where you speak and can even assist with external noise reduction. This means that speeches will be heard clearer and louder, and there will be fewer distractions, making the entire process much more professional and structured.
While remote workers may not be expected to attend the office, they should still exhibit a professional appearance.
This can range from wearing smarter clothing, ensuring your hair is in order and you essentially don’t look like you have just rolled out of bed onto the laptop. It is easy to slip out of a routine when at home and resort to pyjamas and loungewear daily, but this can impact productivity. When dressed smartly, it is likely you might feel a little less comfortable, but more in the zone to work and fulfil tasks.
Further, when speaking, it is important to look directly into the camera lens, as though you are making eye contact in reality. It is additionally important to note that lighting can really impact your appearance. Backlighting can prevent others from seeing your expressions, so it is important to utilise natural light where possible.
Video conferencing backgrounds
Whereby allows businesses to use their logos as corporate backgrounds, so that others may not be distracted by their peers’ interiors, and it gives a sleeker and more professional appearance when every screen is joined together by the same background.
Custom backgrounds can be changed to suit the topic or audience, and the background can simply be blurred if no custom logo is chosen.
Using screen sharing to show presentations
To get the most out of video conferencing, it is important to set an agenda prior to, or at the beginning of the meeting. This will help to keep everyone involved focused on the outcome, and leaves little room or time to allow for any distractions.
An important tool to get points across is through screen sharing, which can allow the speaker to mute other attendees and show their presentation, or a specific graph they are speaking about. This visual feature can provide important evidence behind points, instead of just seeing a face explaining the points. Typically, when screen sharing, the speaker is additionally able to record the screen so that any peers can recap on what was covered during the presentation.