Video conferencing has become a staple in the workplace, especially as social distancing encourages teams to remain at home and collaborate remotely. Considering this, it only seemed prudent to dedicate this week’s tip to how to use video conferencing more effectively.
When you need to work from home and join a video conference, you and your surroundings should get a little attention before the meeting begins.
First, you need to find a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. While the video of Prof. Robert Kelly’s BBC World News interview being interrupted by his kids is adorably hilarious, it might not be as endearing to your coworkers if Rover jumps up and knocks over your workstation.
Make sure the area behind you (that will be visible to your fellow participants) is neat and tidy, and that your lighting makes you look okay. Once you’re properly settled, you’re ready to start your meeting… but wait!
Even though you’re working from home, you still need to maintain some level of business decorum. Tidy yourself up as though you were still participating in an in-house meeting and behave accordingly. Show up on time and dress appropriately for your workplace culture.
Furthermore, it pays off to take the time beforehand to set the stage for the meeting itself. Rather than allowing tangents and errant thoughts to dominate the meeting and eat up the available time you have, put together an agenda. By sharing the agenda with the other participants, you are preparing the group to hit the ground running.
The same goes for any documents or files that will be referenced in the meeting. Make sure that access to them is shared to the group beforehand so there isn’t an interruption later, like one person not being able to open them.
That being said, you should go into your meeting expecting some level of off-topic courtesy. People are going to ask about each other, especially after working together for any length of time. Instead of quashing this time, prepare for it and get down to business after pleasantries have been exchanged.
Once the meeting gets underway, it is important to remember that the rules are a little different than they would be during an in-person one.
For instance, a live meeting wouldn’t require you to have a microphone during the exchange. When it isn’t your turn to talk, make sure you are muted appropriately. Your coworkers don’t need to hear what is happening in your house at the time, and certainly don’t need to hear you if you step away to use the bathroom.
Your coworkers also deserve your complete attention, so even though they are not in the room with you, make sure that you remain focused. Working on other things or checking email throughout the meeting is another no-no.
By keeping these basic guidelines in mind, you are much better prepared to participate in an effective and productive remote meeting. Microtechs can make sure you have the technology to do so. To learn more about what you’ll need, give us a call at (415) 246-0101.