Many of us have been forced to deal with new working routine this year. Swiss government released home office recommendations through the year and majority of the office workforce started working from home. One of the home office policy consequences was an increase of conference calls, often with a camera turned on.
This didn’t always go smoothly:
- Most people didn’t have appropriate equipment and relied on laptop or mobile camera and speakerphone. Combined with an insufficient internet bandwidth it resulted in really bad quality, often with frozen picture.
- Some didn’t like to turn the cam on at all, being caught before their first coffee with red eyes or probably working in pyjamas.
- Those who did, exposed themselves and their home office space from unexpected angles, which might be ignored in internal calls, but doesn’t make a good impression on customers and partners.
In one of my previous jobs I’ve been dealing a lot with video conferencing services and hence best possible practices. Should you also do more and more video calls, you might find following hints quite useful:
Motivation to turn the camera on
First and foremost, it doesn’t feel natural to turn the camera on in the beginning. This is fine. Take your time getting into it. Video calls provide us with otherwise missing non-verbal communication, help to increase social interactions and also make you feel the team spirit much stronger. Once you get used to it, you won’t want to miss it anymore!
Working from home is a special setting, since the place is meant to make you feel cozy and comfortable, filled with your private things. Business calls still require professional ambience, especially when you have a representative role.
- Make sure there’s enough light through the whole day and you won’t disappear in twilight during important call
- Check the capture angle of your cam and remove anything around, what should remain private.
- Think about background noises and how it might affect your meeting
While you might be satisfied with the simple laptop build-in camera and speakers, it makes a huge difference in quality and convenience to use professional devices.
Have a look at those:
- Jabra speakerphone Speak 510
- Logitech webcam: Webcam C920 HD Pro
- Logitech all in one design: BCC950
Last but not least, show your best side and captivate your opposite from the first call minute on!
- Make sure the cam is positioned right in front of your eyes for the best picture. For example if placed too low, it might present you with a second chin.
- The light source should never be behind you – otherwise only a dark shape of you will be visible.
- Best colours to wear are single colours, while horizontal stripes are the worst choice as they are likely to cause flickering on the screen.
Following these basic rules will turn your video conferencing time into a marvellously professional experience, even from home office!