Remote working is currently on the rise, and it seems like a topic that many people are becoming more and more interested in—for obvious reasons.
So, if you do video conferencing calls quite a lot, it is a good idea to know what things you should think about when working remotely either from your home, a coffee shop, or any other place from which you suddenly need to jump on your video call.
In this article we will cover some of the do’s and don’ts for your video conferencing etiquette.
The first thing you need to think about is the positioning of your camera. Many video conferencing tools give you the possibility to test your camera out before you join your online session, which is very helpful. Make sure your camera is not too low, too high, or too close to yourself. Some people might have their screens angled for better viewing, especially when typing, so they end up having their cameras too high, in the end, the other participants can see just the top of the heads.
So, if possible, position the camera facing yourself. If you are using a laptop, push it back a little bit, so that you can get a wider angle view. This will allow others to see all of you, and all your hand movements comfortably. The only other way could do that would be with a wide-angle camera.
If there is something in your room that you can use to place your laptop on a little bit higher, like a book, and have it almost at eye level, do it, this will even more improve your visibility and comfort.
Think about what is behind you and in the background of your video call. Make sure your camera is not pointed to the side, otherwise it might see into other people’s offices, and you don’t want that. Also, make sure your camera is not pointed at a screen in the background that might display some private information about your company that you don’t want people to see.
Think about the background whenever you are starting out your video call or when you are getting ready and set up for your next video call.
Background noise and other distractions
The next thing is the background noise, like the road outside, which can significantly degrade the meeting quality. Make sure that all of these noise makers are shut out and you are sitting in a nice quiet room. If the main working area in your office is too loud, you may want to book and use a meeting room for more comfortable and noise-free space.
Sudden and unexpected distractions is also something that can happen quite frequently, especially when working from home. Some may forget about the dog barking or the kids running around and screaming, just have a think about all the other kinds of distractions that could potentially interrupt your video call.
If you know that an interruption is going to happen, simply let people know about it in advance. Most people are okay with it if you say, for example: “I’m going to have a delivery during the call, so I might have to step out for two minutes.”
A decent headset
Consider purchasing a decent quality set of headphones. It could be a very simple set with a built-in microphone that does not pick up the sound of other people’s voices coming from the speakers and reverberating. Voice echoing can happen quite a lot, and is extremely annoying and distracting, especially when you rely entirely on the built-in microphone in your laptop, so make sure you eliminate this by having a good quality headset.
Use the mute button to selectively mute yourself in a situation when you get a lot of background noise that you can’t control, or when you’re not engaging in the conversation. It is generally a good idea just to mute yourself in between if someone else is speaking or presenting, this way it is much easier for people to hear each other.
Often, people will position themselves with their back to the window, as a result, you are getting a lot of light coming in from the sun, which will dim the camera down and make your profile very dark. It may be something that you cannot control, but you would be better off if you try to position yourself more to the side, so that you are facing towards the light. This way, you will get more light onto your face and you will be much better lit.
These are probably the most important things to consider when doing a video call and looking at proper video etiquette. And, these are the things that you really have to do only once, so whether you work from your home or office, just think about the six areas to make your video call more comfortable and effective.