Video calls are a brilliant tool for simulating face-to-face interactions and keeping dispersed teams connected and productive. Nevertheless, you’ll want to give some thought about where to have a video call, as some locations just aren’t very wise (library is a no no). Choosing the correct meeting environment is essential if you’re going to have a worthwhile meeting, so here’s a list of factors to bear in mind when choosing the location for your meeting.
Let’s start with something fairly blatant but you don’t want to have a video call somewhere full of background noise. You might be in your element in your favourite café when working alone but a virtual meeting in that café is a different story. Not only will you be hyper aware of your surroundings you’ll also likely be put on mute because you’re distracting everyone else in the meeting with the drone of cappuccino orders and strangers small talk.
This is not to say all cafés or any place outside of the home are out of the question, just try to keep any background bustling minimal, for both you and your colleague’s sake. Find a quiet corner away from the action. Bottom line just steer clear of noisy locations.
Some people have a fear of video, not everyone loves to appear on camera which is completely understandable. Although, there are many benefits associated with including video in your meeting. It often leads to more meaningful and engaging meetings so if the person hosting the meeting is adamant that you use video don’t literally grimace.
Instead choose a meeting environment where you feel calm and comfortable (but not too comfortable that you could fall asleep). This may be at your home desk or at your living room table, wherever you can feel relaxed is a good place to have a video call.
Wherever you choose to have your online meeting, try to ensue you’ve got a solid internet connection. If you’re constantly reconnecting, then it’s not a very good use of your time. Having a solid internet connection can mean the difference between a fantastic meeting and a car crash of a meeting.
The first step in appearing presentable is to get dressed. The next is to make sure that when the video turns on others in the meeting can see you. When we talk about lighting, we’re not talking about a full professional set up worthy of catwalk models, just enough that you’re visible. You can always preview your meeting environment before you get going. This is a great way to test the lighting and make sure that your webcam isn’t acting up and you appear on the screen crystal clear.
We’re not accusing anyone of being messy but if you have chosen your home as your meeting environment then try to choose a location with the least clutter. You wouldn’t have a video call from your bathroom, with a background full of shower gels and bath salts. So, if you’re living room or home office is prone to clutter try and remove it beforehand. This is for the benefit of your colleagues as background clutter could lead to them getting distracted trying to figure out the names of all the books on your bookshelf.
So, a quick recap. Choose a meeting environment with minimal background noise, is comfortable, has a solid internet connection, efficient lighting and isn’t full of clutter. Pretty simple stuff really.