Regardless of whether you are an experienced remote worker or have recently had to work from home, you may need to have a video conference with your staff at some point. And while you may know how to set up video calls for a meeting, it is also important to know how to practice the right etiquette for video conferencing.
Nevertheless, we have created a quick guide for the Do & # 39; s and Don. The etiquette for video conferencing is designed to help you attend or hold your meetings as smoothly as possible.
Test your hardware and internet connection in advance.
Nothing causes a video conference to come to a screeching, uncomfortable standstill, similar to slow internet speeds, connection problems or faulty hardware. One of the most important things you need to do before you join or host a call is to make sure that your hardware is working (microphone, speakers, headphones) and that your internet speed is fast enough to get an adequate level of quality for a video call support. Fortunately, there are a number of quick online internet speed tests that you can use to check your internet connection.
For video call apps like Skype, the speed required for video calls depends on the complexity of the video call itself. For example, according to Skype: The minimum required download / upload speed for a video call with seven or more people is 4 Mbit / s / 128 Kbit / s. The recommended speed for such a large call is 8 Mbit / s / 512 Kbit / s.
When testing your hardware, most video conferencing apps can test your microphone, webcam, and speakers to make sure they work during the meeting. Check the settings menu if you cannot see the tests immediately.
Even if you run into problems, you should know in advance whether there is a problem with your setup so that you can fix it before your meeting begins
Blurring or changing your background.
You may not have an office at home. Or maybe you've found a quiet place to join your meeting, but the room itself may be distracting, messy, or has walls with less boring decor. If you don't have the time (or inclination) to change the room yourself, you can still hide the appearance of your selected room using background features offered in some video conferencing clients. For example, zoom allows users to add a fun virtual background to their video instead of just showing the contents of their messy rooms. Both Skype and Microsoft teams offer a background blur feature that allows you to blur your actual background and focus your video on you.
Knowing when a video conference is taking place and when a break is required
Not every work problem is required to be hashed by video call. Make sure that the discussion topic is suitable for a video conference. If it can be processed through Slack or an email, use these methods. In general, longer conversations and distance training are the best use for video calls.
Video conference calls can be difficult to coordinate (especially as the number of participants increases) and can be time-consuming. Not everyone can just jump on a call. So keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to hold a video conference.
Find a quiet, private room or use a machine with white noise.
It is important to find a quiet place for your video calls so that you can hear your meeting and not disturb others while your microphone is on. However, if you work from home and have children or pets, finding a quiet space for your video conference can be difficult. If background noise is inevitable, or if your work requires privacy, it may be worth using a white noise device to drown out excessive background noise and dampen your own private conversations.
The Don & # 39; ts
Don & # 39; don't talk about each other. Use the chat function to ask questions.
You may have questions about the content that will be presented or discussed during your meeting. However, it can be difficult to get everyone's attention during the meeting to ask your question. You could try interrupting or talking to someone so that you can ask your question. But that's rude. It can also be annoying to have to stop the meeting to answer questions as soon as they arise.
So what should you do? The best and least intrusive method is to use your video conferencing app's chat feature, if available. This way, you and your colleagues can ask any questions you want during the meeting without audibly interrupting someone who is speaking. And then, during a natural break in the meeting, the moderator or moderator can answer these questions at will, since the questions are visible to everyone in the sidebar of the chat message.
Do not leave your microphone on if you do not speak
If it is not your turn during the meeting, mute the microphone. Otherwise, your video conference will transmit the sounds of your movements. This is especially important if you want to eat during the meeting, tend to fidget loudly, or if you are in a place that is not very quiet, like a cafe or maybe your home. This background noise can be very distracting and interrupt your employees when it's their turn to speak. Video call clients like Zoom often have a microphone icon that you can tap to mute or unmute your microphone during the meeting.
Don't be distracted during the meeting.
You may be tempted to work on other tasks during the video meeting. If possible, try not to do this and only focus on the present meeting and being present with your employees. The thing about video conferencing is that your video presence tends to increase and it is more obvious to your employees that you are not paying attention if you are constantly struggling, moving or looking elsewhere while someone else is talking. It's okay to take notes on the content discussed during the meeting, but other activities should be kept to a minimum or avoided.
Don't look sloppy: dress up for your audience
Not all video conferencing is the same and your outfits should meet your audience's expectations. So if it's just your family and friends, you could probably get away with your most comfortable combination of sweatpants and a t-shirt. But with your employees, it's probably best to stick to your company's dress code, at least from the waist down – although this only works if you know you won't get up to move during the meeting.
Overall, it's best to customize your video call look to how you would normally look in the office.