A large section of society has been advocating working from home for a long time. And now the deadly coronavirus has forced the entire world to stay confined at their homes and work remotely. No one could have predicted this trend but here we are and the fact remains that we need to get used to the new professional procedures and etiquettes of remote working.
A very important part of working remotely is video conferencing. And since it is the only visual medium while working remotely, it is very important to get acquainted with video conferencing practices. If you have not yet, here are 8 best practices you need to follow while video conferencing with your colleagues (or for that matter with anyone).
So, you have a meeting at 11.00 AM and you switch on the laptop just a minute before only to realize that the internet connection is not working. Or probably your microphone is not working properly and you do not have your earphones handy. Such events show your unprofessionalism as well as lack of preparation.
The number one and the most important rule of video conferencing is to prepare on time by ensuring all the equipment and the internet connection is working fine.
Make Sure Your Face is Clearly Visible
Place your camera slightly above your eye level so that your face is clearly visible to the other person. By placing the camera at a proper angle, you can create a notion of eye contact and have an experience similar to that of face-to-face meetings. Wide angles where your entire room is visible dilutes the attention of the other person.
Avoid Looking At Your Own Image
As humans, we tend to be conscious of the way we look. So, during video conferencing when there is your image on the screen, it is natural to get distracted. However, if you continuously keep staring at your own video, it looks unnatural and gives an impression of you not being interested in speaking with the other person. To avoid this from happening, look straight into the camera and try not to get distracted.
Working from home does not give you an excuse to enter the meeting in your PJs with messy hair and a sloppy look. When in video conferencing, you need to dress professionally and look presentable just like you do in face-to-face meetings. You may not go all the way dressing casually in a suit or tie but looking neat, presentable, and well-groomed is very very important.
Adjust Lighting and Other Background Details
In addition to grooming yourself and looking professional, you also need to ensure that your background environment also looks professional. The room should be tidy, well-lighted, and free from any sort of unprofessional/personal paintings or decoration items. Best is to have a plain wall with nothing on it as the background.
Mute the Microphone When Not Speaking
When there are multiple participants in a meeting, the background noise of all the people put together can be very loud and chaotic. To cut the background noise, put your microphone on mute. Unmute it only when you are speaking and mute it again when done. Also, instruct other people in your house to not enter your room or make any noise when you are in a video conference.
Pay Attention to the Meeting
Checking emails when the other participants are speaking should not hurt. Right? Well, it does. You might feel tempted to multitask considering that you are not on a face-to-face meeting. However, it looks unprofessional and can even portray you as someone who is not serious about the subject matter being discussed. Therefore, do not text or answer calls/emails. Rather focus on what your colleagues are saying just like how you do on a face-to-face meeting.
Ask Questions Via Live Chat
If you have a question regarding what your colleague is speaking, do not straight away interrupt them. Instead, raise a question through live chat and wait for the person to finish. They will be notified of your question and can answer after they have finished speaking. Interrupting mid-way will break the flow for the speaker and can be annoying for the other team members.
Remote working is the new normal and video conferencing is the new way to meet and collaborate with colleagues. Therefore, it is important that you take care of the above-mentioned video conferencing etiquette and never make any mistake that makes you look unprofessional or disinterested.