Posted on: March 24, 2020

by Dallen Campbell, Vice President of Strategy and Architecture for Uncommon Solutions

As more and more workplaces transition to being remote, I would like to share some simple recommendations to make working digitally a success. With meetings moving entirely online, your workforce is retreating to their homes with their newly equipped video conferencing weapons, so let’s be sure to train them on the basics. My top 10 list of do’s and don’ts of home based video conferencing may come in handy as your team acclimates to their new work environment.

Please Do Please Don’t
1 Join your meetings with both video and audio – this will provide your co-workers and clients the best experience possible. Schedule a conference call during mealtimes if at all avoidable. And please DO NOT eat while on a conference call. There is something wrong with people when they aren’t sure if anyone is watching. AKA: T-Rex.
2 Turn OFF your video if you notice your call quality drops. Seeing you is nice, but listening to you talk like a robot takes away from the positive meeting experience. Take your coworkers to the bathroom. Even if you’re muted. Just don’t. Think of it like getting ready to start a road trip. “Has everyone used the restroom? I will not be stopping this car until it needs gas.”
3 Meeting hosts open your meeting 10 to 15 minutes early to allow guests time to get settled in. Turn your video off and on, off and on, off and on. We will spend the rest of the meeting wondering what you were doing.
4 Guests join your meeting 10 to 15 minutes early to test your technology and get settled in. Wear hats. People want to see all of you.
5 Please shower and dress like you would if you were going into the office. It can get ugly out there. Multitask outside of the meeting topic. No one wants to repeat the last ten minutes when you say “Sorry, what?”
6 Master the mute button: Part 1- OFF when you’re not talking (We don’t want to hear your dog, screaming “household coworkers”, or noisy neighbors). Part 2 – ON when you’re talking (No more: “Oops I have been talking for 10 minutes while muted, ha ha ha”). Sit in the dark. Step into the light my friends.
7 Present meeting documents from the monitor that is centered with your camera. People do not want to look in your ear. Join the meeting from a bed, a couch, a lazy boy chair, etc. These are all designed for maximum comfort beyond what we want to watch your body conform too.
8 Prepare the meeting space your camera is pointed at. People don’t want to see your unmade bed, dirty clothes, or what you do during your non-working hours. Get up and walk around, especially if you’re not wearing pants. Besides being awkward it is very distracting.
9 Let your “household coworkers” know you’re about to join a call and how long it is going to be. This helps reduce unneeded interruptions and keeps the monsters at bay. Be on your cell phone. Texting while on a call is much like everyone seeing you passing a note in class and we all remember how that turned out.
10 If you are joining the meeting with a laptop or phone put it on a flat, non-moving surface. Don’t make your coworkers seasick. Have a TV on or music playing in the background. There is always that one part of the movie or that one lyric in that song that will make everyone on the call go, “What… was… that…”.

One last note: Remember that video conferencing was not created as a replacement for the face to face meeting or gathering. It was created to help bring people together when the world makes it impossible for them to physically be together. Stay safe and remain connected to one another as we need each other more than ever these days.

Edited by: Michelle Holbrook, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Uncommon Solutions

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Uncommon Solutions was founded in 2002, has a staff of approximately 30 IT professionals, and is one of the few Managed Microsoft Partners.  We are a full-service IT firm that partners with our clients to leverage technology in support of their mission and business objectives.  Uncommon Solutions is committed to discovering and aligning with your business strategy in all that we do.  With multiple practice specialties in the areas of CIO Services, Business Productivity and Insights, Applications, and Infrastructure management, Uncommon complements and enhances your in-house IT competencies with varying degrees of consultative and implementation services from architecture and design through to planning, implementation and support services. Further, as a managed partner and CSP provider, our relationship with Microsoft will help you maximize your return on existing investments in Microsoft’s platform through access to incentive funding, experience, and expertise.