Video collaboration is a core component of a modern Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution. The ability to engage with geographically dispersed employees over video brings big advantages to teamwork, from helping nurture relationships and increasing employee satisfaction to improving meeting productivity and efficiency.
With a rising number of employees working remotely and more business meetings taking place over video, it’s important to educate employees about the do’s and don’ts of video collaboration. Brushing up video etiquette can help ensure that all participants are respected, and each meeting is productive.
Don’t delay start times, or waste time during the meeting by being unprepared.
For any meeting involving technology – whether you’re joining from a laptop, mobile phone or video huddle space, it’s important to test the equipment setup. Typically, there is a test process you can run to ensure your app or browser interface are connecting properly to your camera and any other attached equipment like speakers and microphones. Running these tests will ensure that you can see and hear users and they can see and hear you. Keep in mind that the process for joining meetings from a video conference room or huddle space might vary within your office.
Video collaboration is second-nature for millennial employees, but for more tenured staff engaging over video might be uncharted territory. Whether you’re a video novice or pro, displaying unintended video footage can be disruptive to your meeting, so it’s good to be aware of your default video settings. Some collaboration solutions are set to automatically join video to the meeting. These default settings can generally be adjusted to meet the user’s preference. However, if you are unable to adjust the settings within your tool, a post-it note strategically placed over your laptop’s webcam can offer a simple solution.
Don’t allow your camera positioning to become a distraction to other participants in your video meeting.
Be sure that your camera is properly positioned on the main monitor you will be using for the video conference. A camera that is pointed too low on your body or pointed somewhere else in the room can be both distracting and unflattering. Make sure the camera is in a stable position and focused at your eye level. Doing so allows for more direct engagement with the other meeting participants. Also, be sure you have good lighting; natural side lighting is usually the best. Without proper lighting, you may either be ghosted out (too much light from the wrong angle), or too dark to see if there is not enough light in the room.
Don't forget that appearances matter in video meetings.
When attending a video meeting while working remotely, dress as if you were in the office. Doing so shows respect and professionalism to your peers and prospective clients. It’s also important to note that appearances are not limited just to you. Be aware of the condition of your surroundings. Messy piles of paper on your desk? Piles of laundry? Stack of dirty dishes? To the people on the other end of the camera, an untidy work area can cause a major distraction.
Don’t multitask during video meetings.
We’ll point out the obvious here: while we’re all guilty of occasionally multitasking during audio and web conferences, in a video conference, everyone can see you. Responding to another email? We can see you. Checking your cell phone? We can see you doing that too. Eliminate distractions and focus on the meeting. Turning off notifications, closing or minimizing running applications and muting cell phones, streaming radio, etc., are all basic etiquette rules.
Beyond general, work-related multitasking, eating and personal grooming are common offenses committed during a video conference. While we could list thousands of activities that should be avoided, using equal parts common sense and common courtesy will go a long way here.
March 31, 2020
By Kevin McMahon