Looking for the key that unlocks productivity and innovation at companies? Video conferencing is your answer, letting employees scattered across the globe to collaborate via face-to-face interaction. However, just like phone decorum calls for a "hello" and "goodbye," video conferencing requires its own set of manners.
To ensure you make a good impression on your boss and co-workers, here are some video conferencing etiquette guidelines:
Just because you can call into a video meeting in your bedroom doesn't mean you can get away with wearing your pajamas. Treat the call like any other business meeting and wear what you would sport to the office (and maybe move from a stack of pillows to your desk). And please, wear pants, too. Even though screens will show only your upper half, you never know if the camera could fall or you'll need to get up for some reason, as Entrepreneur magazine pointed out. It pays to be prepared.
Have a tidy background
Be conscious of your background before joining a video conference. Make sure the space behind you is clean and free of clutter; otherwise the meeting participants will be focused on the dirty dishes littering the table behind you more than your talking points. Use an even, face-level camera angle, too, as anything else is distracting.
Set up good lighting
You don't need to become a lighting expert before you dial in to a video meeting, but you should make sure the room will be bright enough for all callers to see your face clearly and without shadows.
Keep your microphone muted
You never know what's going to be amplified by your computer or headset microphone – your finger tapping, a fan running in the background, a dog barking, a car speeding down the street, etc. It's polite to keep your microphone on mute when you're not talking.
Make eye contact
It's human nature to have your eyes fixed on your beautiful face in the box at the bottom of the screen instead of on your webcam. However, looking directly into the camera is important because it helps you connect with your audience.
Fight the urge to type
You may want to type notes during your video conference, but resist the temptation, the Wall Street Journal advised. Not only could it create noise if your microphone isn't on mute, but also other people may assume that you are working on something unrelated to the meeting.
With these tips, you can have pitch-perfect video conferencing manners.