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Preparing a Video Call While at Home

There is no doubt given the current conditions we are all under, that working from home (WFH) has become the primary work-model these past few months. Whether it be for professional or personal use, online communication has become our new reality.

For those of us who aren’t working out in the field, many have been ordered by their employers to remain in their homes until further notice. It only seems like yesterday offices held team meetings in conference rooms or that creative work areas fostered teamwork and collaboration on the spot. Now that businesses have shuttered their office doors, the primary means of communicating has shifted indefinitely to online apps.

Communication is key and companies are striving to maintain and establish that sense of efficiency into their teams’ workflow. Applications like Google Hangout, Slack, Zoom and Clockify are just some of the many tools utilized in today's working environment.

Having that said, telecommuting has evidently provided positive results for businesses. In fact, working from home can benefit employees by increasing productivity. According to a summary provided from Clockify, workers are proven to remain productive and work “1.4 days per month more and procrastinate 10 minutes per day less than” those working in a normal office environment.

Online communication can take time getting used to for those in favor of working in a traditional office setting. Which is why we have provided a list of five simple steps on how to prepare for video calls while working from home.

  1. Shutdown All Other Applications:

Your computer may operate much slower if there are plenty of programs running in the background. Video calls require a large number of resources in order to properly function, so be sure to turn off any applications, windows and other browsers you may not need during your video call.

2. Prep Before Sharing Your Screen:

Let the other people in your household know that you are going into a call, that way they do not disturb you. Also, if you are planning on sharing your screen with a number of people, put away any objects in your desktop background that are personal; which you might find potentially embarrassing during the screen share.

3. Presentation Is Key:

Looking presentable to your boss and coworkers is not only necessary, but also considered a professional courtesy. Despite working from home, it is important you look the way you would at the office. Keep your camera at a straight face position for your optimal angle, anything otherwise may be considered unflattering.

4. Choose a Decent Background:

The background you choose is just as important as the way you present yourself onscreen. Find a suitable area in your home with ample natural light. If your home does not have much sunlight, you can use a lamp. Avoid standing behind busy backgrounds and instead, choose a place in your home that is neutral; a wall with a frame or two would be an ideal example.

5. Come Organized and Prepared:

It is important to keep in mind that even though you’re at home, sitting behind a screen, you are still attending a professional meeting. That means, getting acquainted with the material and having it readily available beforehand is pivotal. Especially if you’re in a position that requires you to share files/documents with other members of your team. The awkward silence of others waiting as you rummage through files is a situation best avoided.