The coronavirus pandemic has shifted the way we work and video conferencing to communicate and collaborate with colleagues has become the norm for most remote workers.
It goes without saying that this new way of engaging with people takes some getting used to, especially in terms of setting the stage to create a remote working environment that maintains some semblance of professionalism.
So what do you do to ensure that you pull off a successful video conference call?
Get your space ready
It’s easy to forget that everyone who’s on the video call can see everything around you. So be sure to set up your space somewhere that’s quiet and as clutter free as you can make it. If you’re living with other people, give them the heads up so that they know not to cause any disruptions. Ensure your lighting is good (avoid bright background lights), and remember to sit enough of a distance away from the camera so that your upper body and hand gestures are visible.
Pajamas or the like have become the dress code of choice for many working remotely. They’re just so comfortable and – why not? But whilst nobody is expecting you to dress up formally, it is important to dress appropriately when showing up for a virtual meeting with colleagues. Treat the call as you would an in-person meeting, albeit with some considerable social distancing thrown into the mix.
Make sure your technology works
Before kicking off the video call, check that all your equipment and internet connection are working. Test your headset to be sure the microphone is working. Familiarize yourself with the video app you’ll be using to ensure you understand the settings, such as sharing your screen (make sure all personal tabs or windows are closed) or maximizing somebody else’s screen, using the mute button to block out background noise, turning the video on/off, etc.
Concentrate on the call
It’s so easy to distract ourselves with something else during a video call, be this checking a mobile phone, browsing the internet, quickly biting into a sandwich. Limit this and keep engaged. Remember to look at the camera frequently, even if you aren’t the one speaking, and pay attention to the person doing the talking. As we mentioned beforehand, treat the video call as if you were meeting with your colleagues in person – remain courteous always.
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