Everyone in the world right now is having to figure out how to get by without actually going to work.
Luckily, most of us have the technology to both have that meeting over the phone while also being able to visually confirm that a co-worker isn’t secretly lounging on a beach somewhere.
These meetings still feel a little odd, especially when most of us use these video conferencing tools with people we don’t typically see on a daily basis. After dealing with this new normal for a while, I’m prepared to share some tips on how to put on a video conference while you’re working from home.
1. Headphones will be your best friend
“Is anyone else hearing an echo?” Yes, yes we are. Most of us will mute out of fear that maybe we’re the ones causing the annoyance, but rest assured, those of us who go in from the beginning with our headphones, buds, or sets can enjoy the meeting all the way through without having to worry if it’s our faulty acoustics disrupting the meeting.
Another benefit here is for the significant number of us who have significant others living with us. Headphones help keep things a little more quiet while your significant other is doing their thing around the house.
2. Have a Plan or Meeting Agenda
It’s easy to fall into a habit of the video conference calls because we simply need to check in on everyone. We need to always remember that these are geared toward coordination. We’ve been working in offices next to each other because it helps engage communication. Several people focused on the same goal in the same place produces benefits. To help A) make these conferences more beneficial and B) make these conferences shorter, there has to be a plan.
Instead of the familiar dance of trying to get someone’s computer to present on a nearby screen or utilizing the tried-and-true flipping of the laptop, video conferencing tools allow us to immediately share our screens with each other.
What are you working on? Here it is, and let’s move forward.
What’s the plan? Follow along on this guide.
Where is Jerry? Jerry resigned and began his own stage play months ago.
3. Location, Location, Location…and Please Brush Your Hair
Remember that people will be able to see you. Lighting is pretty important. Make sure you are in a physical location that allows your conference members to see you well. In a similar vein, it’s easy to want to slob it up if you’re working from home. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you appear how people would expect you to appear in a physical meeting. Are you still in your pajamas with your hair matted to the side of your head? Go ahead and mix in a shower before meeting with everyone.
It’s not only a visual thing. Your co-workers, employers, clients, or employees will thank you for it. You may even be able to wrap this meeting up before the scheduled hard stop time.