Video conferencing – it might make you nervous, excited, or relieved that you don’t have to take that long commute to work. Regardless, it is now the reality of living and working in the pandemic. Even before the Coronavirus locked down the world and forced companies to go remote, video conferencing was becoming popular thanks to its increased affordability for the general public. Long gone are the days when only big multinational companies could afford video conferencing setups. Now, all you need is a smartphone with a good stable internet connection. Here is everything that you need to know about video conferencing and how you can make the most out of it.
How Does It Work?
Before the advent of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, video conferencing was expensive, cumbersome, and technically challenging. VoIP was a game-changer and made the possibility of easily accessible video conferencing a reality. Sound, which is an analog signal, is collected by the microphone while the camera picks up the visual. These signals are then digitized and transferred through the internet. Thanks to VoIP, it’s now possible for companies to collaborate with remote workers and hire talented individuals from diverse geographical locations. Without this awesome innovation, the COVID-19 lockdown would have been a lot more isolating and challenging.
Importance of a Good Camera Setup
While the majority of laptops and smartphones would have an in-built camera, very few are exceptional. Moreover, the angle offered by them can be awkward and can appear unprofessional in high-stake video meetings. If you’re someone who has to regularly do video conferences, then investing in a good audiovisual setup would be worthwhile. While you might be tempted to buy professional YouTubers’ gear, there are other options available. As evident in the video conferencing systems at 323.tv, there are options available that work seamlessly with Zoom, Skype, etc. Having a good quality camera will immensely improve your video calling experience.
In addition to having a good camera, you should also be mindful of where you position your webcam. Always try to position it slightly above eye level so that the camera captures you at your most flattering angle. Also, be aware of the lighting in the room and how it impacts the optics.
Video Conferencing Etiquette
Once you have the right setup (and a stable internet connection), there are a couple of other things you need to consider during a video conference. Try to delegate a separate, quiet room especially if you’re working at home, so as to minimize disruptions. Wear clothing that you’d wear at work for office video conferencing even if you’re working from home. Before a scheduled meeting, ensure your WiFi and equipment are working properly by testing it with friends and family.
As for the background, a white wall can be too bland and you definitely don’t want your dirty clothes visible on the screen. It’s better to have a bookshelf or plants in the background to give it a more professional vibe. Don’t check your emails or try to multitask when you’re on a video call. Multitasking not only decreases productivity but can also negatively impact your overall impression.
Video conferencing has changed the way companies hire and collaborate with workers. The rise of “digital nomads” can be attributed to improvements in video conferencing technology as people are now able to work remotely without the need to travel to offices. This also offers more flexibility to companies as they’re able to cut the costs associated with keeping a traditional office setup. More companies are expected to stay remote even after the pandemic is over so it’s better to get familiar with video conferencing skills. The future of work is digital – and video conferencing will remain its staple.