While best practices for video calls may seem straightforward for experienced remote workers, they may not be so obvious to those who are new to working from home. We’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks for mastering the video call using platforms like Zoom or RingCentral.
1. Know when a call is needed
How many times a week do your days feel so packed with meetings that you find it challenging to actually complete your work? Before scheduling another video call, take a moment to consider whether you really need it, or if you can deliver your message via email or Slack.
2. Be prepared
If you’re new to video calls, make sure you give yourself some time in advance to your meeting to download the program and test your sound and video. It often takes a few minutes to get set up on a new platform, and you don’t want to hold up the meeting while you figure it out for the first time. If you’re presenting on the call, make sure you have all your resources open and ready to share ahead of time. Don’t waste time by making people watch you scramble or look through various folders to find your file.
3. Make sure your background is aligned with your call
Depending on who you’re meeting with, you may need to get creative with your work from home video background to present yourself professionally. If you work in a casual environment and are chatting with colleagues, it may be just fine that you’re calling from your kitchen table, but if you’re meeting with clients, it’s important to keep up your professional appearance. If you’ve recently found yourself working from home and are sharing your space with other telecommuting family members, you may be fighting for space for your calls. We can set you up with custom branded back drops for your staff members to put behind their desk, or you can get a green screen and have some fun with your background, changing it up daily! If you’re not in the market for a custom background, why not support a local artist and purchase a nice new piece of artwork to hang behind you? If you don’t have a blank wall to hang it on, prop it up using an easel or a chair – no one will ever know the difference!
4. Have a set of visual cues to help the conversation run smoothly
We’ve all been on a call where we felt like a topic has been on loop for too long, or we’ve had trouble hearing the person talking. Work with your team to create a set of visual cues to help your conversations run efficiently. Cues that indicate things like I agree, please mute yourself, this topic has peaked, and check the chat will help your meetings run smoothly. You can come up with your own hand symbols, use sign language, or have some fun with photobooth props that have their own meanings!