Working from home is certainly a blessing that only a few get to enjoy. However, just because you’re working from home, that does not mean you do not have to keep things professional. In fact, if you can look professional while working from home, you may even score some extra points with your boss or important clients. In order to help you be more professional and effective in online meetings, enjoy these five tips on what you should remember to clean before going into an online video conference.
Preparing a Dedicated Online Meeting Space
When you can video conference with your colleagues, boss, or clients from anywhere in your home, it is easy to simply relax in a comfortable place like your lounge couch, your bed, or even outside by the pool. However, if you truly want to be perceived as a professional, consider dedicating a specific space for online meetings, where there is good natural light flowing in, little excess noise, and no clutter behind you. Even if it simply means moving a stack of books or musical instruments from one wall to the other, ensuring that no other objects are visible aside from you will make it seem like you are in a clean, tidy office.
Ensuring You Look Professional and Presentable
Despite working from your home, there is no excuse for looking unprofessional. This does not necessarily mean that you must don a suit for every video call, but it does mean that you need to ensure that you are presentable. This includes showering, brushing your hair and teeth, and almost everything else that you would typically do to look presentable for work. Your attire, however, is where you are allowed some leeway. Most people will understand if you aren’t dressed formally for the half hour or so that you are on their screen for, but be sure to consider who will be on the other line. For important clients and meetings with prospective employers, as Top Resume agrees, you will want to put on that suit and look your best.
Clearing Your Desktop of Unnecessary Documents or Webpages
Although many people will admit to reading news websites or even enjoying Google image searches while on a video call, few actually realize that these “sneaky activities” can actually be very blatant. It can be painfully obvious when, whilst chatting to a colleague about work, the light from your screen suddenly paints your face in a colorful glow, even though you’re supposed to be looking at typical black and white Word documents. Be aware that your screen could easily give away your lack of focus on important tasks. Do yourself and the other attendees a favor and close the unnecessary windows, images, and webpages on your desktop.
Cleaning Up the Quality of Your Feed
The final thing that you need to clean up is the quality of your feed. Now, while this is more difficult than the others to do, it can be invaluable when your clients can see and hear you with crystal clarity. Ways to ensure your feed is clean, as Undercover Recruiter shares, is to test your microphone and video configurations with a family member or a friend beforehand. They can then tell you if the video is blurry, if your voice is distorting, if there is excess noise coming through the microphone, as well as many other potential problems. You may also want to invest in a top quality video conferencing system from a tried and trusted brand like BlueJeans, so that nothing can get in the way of you landing those sales or impressing your boss.
Remembering to Keep Your Language Clean
While relaxing at home, it’s easy to drop your guard and possibly utilize language that is less than polite. This, unfortunately, can come across as very unprofessional unless you have a close relationship with whomever you are conferencing. A surefire way to ensure you don’t slip up is to simply practice a few times. However, if you have a dedicated space and dress the part, you will feel more inclined to act and utilize the right words to stay professional. Additionally, you may want to keep a book close by and learn precisely where your mute button is, for if you suddenly have to tend to an important issue. This way, you can simply mute your microphone and cover the webcam with a book to ensure you can maintain your privacy when conferencing colleagues or important clients.
These five tips are relatively easy to accomplish, and simply require a small amount of effort, forethought, and planning. The benefits, however, are far great than the effort you will need to put in, so invest some time today to ensure you maintain optimal professionalism, despite being in the comfort of your own home.