5 Do’s and Don’ts of Videoconferencing Etiquettes When You Are Working from Home
Video calls have become an essential part of the workflow, in fact, 96% of workers say that it improves the connectedness of remote team members. However, even though most people know how to set up video calling for a conference, a lot of employees don’t know the basic etiquettes of video conferencing. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of video collaboration.
Do: Make Sure the Camera is Properly Positioned
You need to make sure that your camera is setup at the right height and distance so that it is pointing directly on your face. It can be quite distracting for your co-workers to see what is going on in the background, while it can be rather unflattering to have the camera pointing too low on your body.
Ideally, your camera should be focused at eye level and placed on a sturdy, stable surface. Doing so allows you to maintain eye contact with the other participants and engage with them directly. Also, be sure that you are sitting somewhere with good lighting, preferably natural light if possible. If it is too dark, other participants won’t be able to see you; if it’s too bright, you will be ghosted out altogether.
Don’t: Attempt to do other works during a video call
As tempting as it may be to get done with your emails, check your phone, read an interesting article, or munch on a snack while the other participants are engaged in conversation, you need to stay engaged and attentive during a videoconference. Eliminate distractions and focus on the meeting. Keep your phone on silent, turn off notifications, and close all running applications.
Don’t even look at yourself or let your gaze wander at other participants on the screen. You need to look directly into the camera when you speak. Even when it is not your turn to speak, you are required to pay heed to whoever’s speaking, especially if they are sharing their screen. Remember: others can see what you are looking at, so be on your best guard.
If you need a moment to reference a document or pull up an email when it is your turn to speak, do make sure to communicate that to all participants. Long pauses make it sound it you have lost connection, so it is better to keep all participants on the same page. The worst thing about video calls is that you are more visible to everyone than you are in a physical meeting, where people only look at the speaker. On a video call, you get to see close-ups of everyone’s face individually instead of a whole group of people at once. This is why it is important to keep your own face visible on the camera.
Do: Test Your Tech
Even in a technologically advanced world, you can come across myriad technical difficulties during a conference cal. You need to be prepared in advance before taking on the call. For instance, before attending a call, make sure that your headphones, speakers, and microphone work just fine. Make sure to plug in your laptop so it doesn’t run out of battery in the middle of a call.
Ensure that your internet speeds are fast enough to support a decent level of quality for a video call. Also, it is important to ascertain that your video conferencing software is feasible and easy to use for all attendees. Running these tests will ensure that you can see and hear users and they can see and hear you.
Don’t: Dress up
You may work in your PJs at home, but not everyone has to see that. When attending a video meeting while working from home, dress up as you normally would for work. Doing so portrays professionalism and respect to your peers and prospective clients. Appearances matter a ton when it comes to video calls. It’s probably best to adhere to your company’s dress code.
Also, be aware of the condition of your surroundings. Get rid of that stack of dirty dishes, piles of laundry waiting to be folded, and mountains of paperwork waiting to be sorted. A disorderly workstation will only be a constant source of distraction for the people on the other end of the camera.
Do: Mute Yourself When you are Not Speaking
Microphones have a tendency to pick up faint sounds like typing, swallowing, chewing, coughing, or tapping your pen. It is one of the most remote conferencing etiquettes to mute your microphone when you’re not speaking. Also, it is considered rude to talk over each other. If you need to ask questions, Use the chat function rather than interrupt the speaker.