If you are working from home (we’re on week two of no heels or ties!) and you still want to keep in touch with your colleagues or clients, video calls are a great way of getting some face time. This is so important, not just for keeping on top of work, but to prevent feelings of isolation or loneliness overwhelming your mental health.
But, if you’re new to the whole working from home gig, you might not be used to the idea of regular video calls, either. No matter what platform you use – Skype, Teams, Zoom or Slack, to name a few – you will want to make sure that the quality of your calls are (almost) as good as a face to face chat in the office.
So, we thought we’d share our top tips for a successful video call whilst working from home:
There’s nothing worse than only catching every second word of what someone is saying or having them frozen on your screen for minutes on end. Test your internet speed and use a wired connection, if needs be. That way you’ll avoid any awkward screengrabs of you mid-sentence or worse, have the call drop altogether.
Now, no one is expecting you to have a full office set up (especially if home working is very new or last minute) but it is best to have a neutral, uncluttered space behind you in the frame so that your colleagues or clients are paying attention to what you’re saying – not trying to work out if there’s laundry lying on your bed or what you’re making for lunch.
Again, you don’t have to have studio lights set up to capture you at your best, but think about where you are sitting in relation to direct sunlight. Over-exposed, and you’ll look like a ghost; too far away and you’ll look like something out of an old noir film.
If you’re sitting in a quiet room, with no noise coming from others in your home or radio etc, you might just get away with using your laptop mic and speakers. However, for even better quality sound, you should plug in a pair of headphones. They don’t have to be fancy, you can simply use the ones you’d normally use with your phone.
It might sound obvious, but make sure your colleagues or clients can see your whole face whilst you’re on the call. It’s no use if all they can see is the tip of your forehead or just one side of your face. Line yourself up with your webcam and adjust your seat until you can see yourself properly on screen.