In a matter of weeks, our world has adopted an entirely new everyday vocabulary. Included are phrases such as “social distancing,” “self-isolation,” and a much more frequent use of the word “quarantine” than anyone less than one hundred years old has ever experienced. Stay-at-home orders and warnings to “hunker down” at home have created a new normal for personal and family life as well as a major shift in the where and how-to as it relates to the workplace.
As many make the transition to a work-from-home setting, the video conference call has become the number one means for staff to stay connected. While learning the ins-and-outs of launching or joining a video conference will be a must, let’s not forget the importance of video conferencing etiquette. Consider these “yes, please” and “steer clear” guidelines from the video conferencing pros.
A test run – Confirm both the internet connection and computer hardware are in working order. What could and should have been a productive meeting can crash and burn quickly due to connectivity issues or a malfunctioning microphone or speakers.
Most video conferencing apps can assist with testing your microphone, webcam, and speakers. Several quick online internet speed tests can confirm the speed of your internet connection.
Mute your microphone – Especially for people who are new to video conferencing, the need to mute their microphones before joining a call may slip by them. Even those experienced at teleconferencing often slip up on this simple step. Noisy pets, screaming children, and worse yet, screaming children chasing noisy pets can derail a meeting in short order. Not to mention how the background noises we’ve grown accustomed to—a ringing telephone, the television, even a loud, ticking clock, can distract others from focusing on the meeting.
Then, remember to unmute the microphone when it’s your turn to speak or that well-practiced inquiry/announcement/request will go nowhere.
Wear appropriate clothing – The temptation to show up to the meeting in your “new” work attire consisting of a favorite old t-shirt and baggy sweats will not go over well. So, dress the same as you would for an in-person meeting at the office.
Zone out – The nature of a video conference where a person sits in a chair and stares at a computer screen can lead to boredom, sleepiness, or a wandering mind.
“If you do drift off and switch to a different app, like Twitter or Facebook, be aware that people may know,” warns Brian X. Chen, lead consumer technology writer for the New York Times. “The Zoom app, for example, has a setting that lets hosts see if you have switched away from the Zoom app for more than 30 seconds — a dead giveaway that you aren’t paying attention.”
That goes for other work-related tasks as well, such as reading emails, perusing articles, or proofing documents. Listen with both ears and a fully engaged mind. Taking notes via paper and pen may help you focus, but no typing up the meeting’s finer points. Being in another application may be more distracting than helpful and may also be noticeable to your meeting mates.
Combine personal and work life during a call – The weekly sales meeting is not the time to get in a quick workout in the basement, fix lunch, or bath the kids. The greatest challenge of working remotely is often finding a quiet, family-free zone in which to work. As most video calls will take place at pre-arranged times, do your best to arrange to be absent from the household clamor during the call.
During these challenging times, ASJ Partners stands ready to meet your changing marketing needs. The current unprecedented circumstances may call for an in-depth review of your advertising strategy, and that’s where our team can help. With more than twenty-five years of experience in customizing comprehensive marketing strategies, our know-how can get your company through this challenging season. Give us a call today!