Even before the advent of the coronavirus, businesses have been moving their operations and workforce to a remote setting. To ensure that they still communicate efficiently and effectively, the majority of these businesses opt to use video conferencing for their daily communication, meetings, and team updates. Here is our comprehensive guide to help you look crisp and maintain your composure while on a video conferencing by following the etiquettes we listed below.
1. Clothing – Dress Up For the Call
A popular thing to do among people who work remotely is that they wear their PJs while they are on a call or video conference. To be fair, this is one of the many perks of working at home, it’s very liberating that you don’t have to constantly think about how you look because your workmates are not around anyway. But in a professional video conference, it might appear a little annoying. You don’t have to shell out a significant amount of cash and say buy a suit, a collared shirt and jeans would have done the trick. Plus, after the video conference, you can go back into your PJs anyway.
2. Maintain A Clean Working Space
As your working space might get projected to the screens of the participants from time to time, make sure that your wall ornaments are appropriate and that you don’t have trash scattered around, and especially make sure that you don’t have your dirty clothes hanging around seen by your webcam. It is a workspace, after all, it should look clean and professional. If you decide to make your bedroom your workspace, make sure to take the extra effort in making it look and feel like one.
I would look very unprofessional if you show up in a video conference looking like you’re inside a cave. Do take the extra effort in letting more light inside your room or home office. You don’t have to spend money on expensive lighting kits or even replacing your light bulb. Sometimes, all you have to do is simply open up the curtain.
4. Muting Your Microphone
If it is not your turn to speak yet, make it a habit to mute your microphone, even if you’re alone in the house, background noises can disturb the meeting and annoy the participants.
5. Prepare The Settings
You should never forget to tweak around the settings of the video conferencing software before the meeting even begins. It would be distracting to other participants if your camera doesn’t work, the brightness might be too low. Also, check your microphone and make sure that it’s not muted before you talk as no one might hear your report that you have prepared for so long.
Make sure your webcam and microphone are working and configured properly. There are webcam and microphone testing tools available online, or if you prefer, have a video conference with your colleagues first before the big meeting so they can immediately see if there is something wrong with your setup. Having a dark image on your webcam, a rattling microphone and very low volume is a minus to your professional image.
7. Optimize Webcam Angle
Make sure your webcam is set just fine, not too high, or too low, mangled camera views are very ungainly and distracting. It appears unappealing to other meeting participants. Make sure your webcam is at the same level as your eye and its projects on the right monitor.
8. Audio Only Meetings
Alright, some video conferencing applications would prompt the participants as to who is currently talking, but some remote audio meetings do have phone-only participants where they call in using their mobile phone. In audio meetings make sure you introduce yourself first before talking as a courtesy to all the participants.
9. Stay Focused While On Video Conference
Make sure that you are not browsing the web, checking emails or watching videos while you’re in a video conference. You also shouldn’t do other work as other participants would know if you are concentrating on the conference or not.
10. Look At The Camera, Not Your Screen
Talk to the camera, as if you are talking to a person, this simple move would feel that you are fully engaged and participating well during the meeting. Don’t be overly conscious and always check how you look on your computer screen while talking.
11. Treat Video Conference As Real Conference
This one matters a lot for psychological reasons. If you think about a video conference as just a simple call, you wouldn’t focus and participate as much, you might even think it’s not as important as an actual conference. But remember, as a remote worker, this is your version of a conference now, how you treat it would determine how well you do at it.
12. When Sharing Your Screen
This one is like setting up your work area so that it looks professional. Declutter your screen of unnecessary icons, browser tabs, and windows that are not relevant to your work, as it may reveal your private, maybe even sensitive data. If a meeting would require you to share your screen, take a moment to prepare and rehearse how your screen would look like before you share it.
13. Learn When To Turn Off Your Webcam
It is also important that if something turns up, you have to stretch, move around, or get up. It would be appropriate to turn your webcam off so the participants won’t get distracted.
14. Let Participants Know When You’re Talking
In an actual conference, it comes very naturally to pick the right time to talk. In a video conference though, it’s very different. It can be very easy to distract somebody from talking because of a lack of cues, signaling and sound delays. Some video conferencing apps like Cisco’s WebEx do come with a “raise your hand” button. But if your video conferencing app doesn’t come with such a feature, you can improvise by planning with your team how to signal when it’s time to talk, raising your actual hand when you like to talk can be a good idea.
Also, check out these 7 Simple Hacks to Overcoming Procrastination When Working Remotely