With the vast majority of workers now working remotely due to COVID-19, your company’s employees will now be running or participating in video conferences from the comfort of their home office.
Video conferences are an essential aspect of remote work, ensuring your team is able to communicate on a frequent basis. This means your company’s employees get the social interaction they crave when working from home, and that they are able to continue collaborating with one another on projects.
In fact, video conferences will bring your company a wide range of benefits while your team works remotely, including:
- Helping to strengthen relationships between team members while they aren’t in the office.
- Video conferences can be used for a wide variety of reasons, whether it’s for online training, client meetings, team collaboration or one-to-one communication.
- Improving collaboration between your team members.
- Giving your employees the chance to interact with humans during the difficult periods of self-isolation caused by COVID-19.
To make the most of video conferencing, however, it’s important that you follow some basic rules and etiquette.
To help, Genesis Integration has created a list of tips that you can share with your team to ensure your video conferences are seamless, productive and efficient while everyone works from home:
1 - Be on time
In the office, you would never be late for a meeting, so there’s no reason why you should be when joining a video conference either. Not only is it considered unprofessional to many, but the noise you make as you join will distract everyone that arrived at the video conference on time.
2 - Dress as you would in the office
When working from home it’s easy to just throw on some comfortable clothes for your working day, but would you really wear those sweatpants or pyjamas into the office? When working remotely it’s still important to follow your company’s dress code, particularly when participating in a video conference.
Dressing as you would in the office gets you in the right frame of mind to be productive and do your job to the best of your ability, and it also lets your coworkers know that you are interested in their meeting.
3 - Make sure you use video
When in a video conference, you have the option of turning your webcam off. We strongly recommend that you, and all your teammates, have your video turned on in every video conference that you have. By being able to see your teammates you will be more engaged in what they have to say, read their body language throughout the conversation, build better relationships and minimize the feelings of isolation that you might feel from not being able to turn up at the office.
4 - Mute yourself when not speaking
Noises in the background of video conferences can be distracting for both host and participants. By muting your microphone when you are not speaking you will remove noises such as typing, coughing, sneezing, dogs barking or family members talking from distracting other participants on the video conference.
5 - Limit your distractions
When working from home there are a huge number of distractions that can keep you from fully concentrating on video conferences. Everything from phones, laptops, TVs, dogs and children are all likely to be in the immediate vicinity to your desk during your working day.
Of course, everyone participating in a video conference will understand that there’s a difference between conducting a meeting from the office or at home. Where possible, try to limit those distractions as much as possible. It’s best practice to put any electronic devices out of reach so that you aren’t tempted to use them midway through the meeting, and keep your door shut (if you have one) to prevent pets or children from interrupting the meeting.
6 - Position your camera correctly
When you are on a video you will want to position your camera in a natural position. You don’t want the other participants looking down at your chin or up your nose. Position your webcam (or in-built camera) so that it’s as close to eye level to your face as possible. This will help your coworkers feel like they are sitting right next to you, helping to build a better connection.
Remember, when speaking during a video conference you will want to look at the camera - not your computer screen. This will give the other participants in the conference the feeling that you are talking to them, and not mumbling at the floor.
More video conference body language tips can be found on our blog, ‘8 Body Language Tips That You Need to Know for Your Next Online Meeting’.
7 - Use the right technologies
A video conference is useless without the right technology. Make sure your team is all using the same software to stay in touch (Zoom is a great way to encourage collaboration among your team), and that all employees have the appropriate hardware such as webcams to conduct high-quality online meetings.
8- Pay attention
The most important rule of video conferencing from home? Pay attention! It can be so easy to check emails, continue writing that presentation you were working on or even just aimlessly scroll through social media on your phone during an online call.
Not only has it been found that 98 percent of people can’t multitask effectively, but your team on the video conference can also clearly see that you aren’t concentrating on the meeting. You can’t expect to learn anything from the video conference, or collaborate effectively with your team, if you aren’t listening to what the meeting is about.
Need more tips or information on how to improve your company’s video conferences while your employees work from home? Contact Genesis Integration today. Our team of technology experts would love to help.