Walmart recently claimed that there had been a huge upsurge in the sale of business shirts and formal tops as compared to bottoms. Thanks to this current enforced trend of remote working; especially the now indispensable video conferencing!
What is commendable here is, despite this obligatory necessitation, people are being consciously alive to basic work etiquette.
Here is a list of 16 handy video-conferencing etiquette tips to help you with your P’s and Q’s while working remotely.
- Circulate the agenda beforehand
If you are the one hosting it, make sure all participants have the relevant information about this conference. Prepared participants, aid in the high productivity of the meetings.
- Right size your meetings
Do not unnecessarily populate your screen. Call only relevant participants.
- Wear work-appropriate clothing
At least waist up! That said, make sure you don’t stand up while the camera is on.
- Keep the background decent
Toy clutter, open bathroom door, piles of laundry, or kids mucking around are huge sources of distraction. Clear that clutter and tidy up your background.
Some video conferencing apps do allow blurring out backgrounds or setting up virtual ones. Use the feature if required.
- Angle your camera the right way
Keep your laptop camera at eye level or up. You can raise the level by placing books under it. Flared nostrils or tripled-up chin all over the screen is not a sight to behold. Top-down along your face is the best angle.
- Light it right
Light is best when focused from one of the sides. It should not fall straight onto your face; neither should it ray in from behind. Follow these tips to prevent blinding your image on the screen.
- Be on time
Once all the other things are set, it is time to log in. Be there a couple of minutes ahead of the scheduled time.
- Pay attention
Avoid multi-tasking. Ideally, you should turn off all notifications, minimize all running applications, mute cell phones, and turn off the streaming radio.
Nothing could be a bigger put-off than munching crackers or clipping nails. No personal grooming please while on Video-call.
- Depute a timer
That helps to stay focused on the agenda in a time-bound manner.
- Share your screen carefully
Disable pop-ups. Close chat, email, or calendar programs. There have been cases where HRs had to send warning emails to participants for opening inappropriate sites while taking video calls in parallel.
- Mute the speaker when not speaking
You wouldn’t want a swearing spouse or a noisy Bluetooth or barking dog to steal the show. Irritants like heavy breathing, coughing, sniffing can be blocked by muting the speaker.
- Avoid parallel talking
Do not talk over others unless you want to be labeled rude.
- Stay concise
Make your point in a short and simple manner.
- Include visuals
Videos, charts, presentations aid in generating interest and facilitating a better understanding. Use them liberally.
- Record meetings for absentees
You can use the feature of recording important video calls for those who can’t attend. Manners say, do that only after notifying all the other participants.
- Avoid dead air
Perfect the art of small talk to avoid awkward silence. If you face any hiccups with the call, it’s okay to communicate, as they occur.
Video conferences these days have essentially become a tool for regular discussion at hand; as good as an in-person interaction at work. It is no more as formal as it used to be.
With the pandemic on, people understand how challenging it could get, trying to work from home. In this scenario, involving children seem to have become an acceptable addition in the ‘Won’t mind’ list of video-conferencing etiquette. A minute-long opening or closing talk by your little one can play a breather. News updates or weather reports or hygiene tips could be a good idea to involve children productively.