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  1. #1
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    The rules of video conferencing at home

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    The rules of video conferencing at home

    Many workers are taking business meetings from their living rooms or kitchens these days.

    The rules of vdeo conferencing at home - CNN

    With a growing number of companies asking employees to work from home due to coronavirus, video conferencing has allowed workers to continue having meetings. It also satisfies the social interaction many workers start to crave when they are working from home. But it can feel a little awkward letting people get a glimpse into our homes.

    Here's what you need to know about remote video conferencing:

    Dress casually, but appropriately

    Follow your company's culture when it comes to your attire for video calls.

    Some workers will be expected to keep the same attire they wear in the office, while for many others, it's acceptable to dress more comfortably than they usually do at work. But comfortable doesn't mean pajamas (at least not on top).

    "Tailor your appearance to the person you are working or dealing with," recommended Jacqueline Whitmore, business etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach.
    But don't get too wrapped up in your appearance.

    "I think people are more forgiving around these times of desperate measures," said Whitmore. "The etiquette might not be as stringent."

    Get over your fear

    Video calls work best when everyone gets on.

    "We are all in this socially awkward situation together," said Peter Arvai, co-founder and CEO of presentation software company Prezi.

    And if some employees are in the office, everyone should still call in separately on their own device with a camera so you can see everyone clearly.

    "You want a good view of every participant," said Arvai. "You don't want to see a few people with their mini heads, that doesn't work."

    Don't sweat your background too much

    If you have space in your home for a home office, that certainly makes it a lot easier to find a place to join a video call.

    But for people living in smaller dwellings, the home office could be the kitchen table, sofa or the bedroom -- and that's ok.

    Look for a background that is not distracting and put away any personal items that might be embarrassing or you want to keep private.

    And don't worry about any sports memorabilia, vacation photos or movie posters hanging on the wall. "Use those things to establish the human connections," said Arvai.

    However, if you are meeting with a new or potential client, take the time to look more put together, Whitmore said. "If you need to make a first impression, don't do it in your bedroom in your bed surrounded by your covers."

    Find the light

    Light is your friend when it comes to looking good and getting the most out of a video call.

    "What matters the most is to be able to see the facial expressions," said Arvai. "If you can, sit by the window to have the light on your face, that creates a much better experience for others."

    Make introductions

    Make sure meeting participants introduce themselves if everyone doesn't know one another, advised Aruna Ravichandran, vice president and chief marketing officer of Cisco's Webex Collaboration business.

    "Remote work is all about personalization and getting people comfortable to be able to have a conversation," she said.

    Limit your distractions

    You know how annoying it is when someone is constantly looking at their phone or typing on their laptop during in-person meetings? It's just as distracting in video meetings.

    "It can be disrespectful to other folks when you are constantly multitasking," said Ravichandran.

    Turn off any notifications and any other programs that might tempt you to do something else during the meeting.

    "You want to keep some level of decorum when working from home," said Whitmore.

    And remember: The mute button is your friend. If you aren't talking, be on mute. No one wants to hear you munching on your mid-morning snack.

    Just be sure to give people a few seconds to unmute themselves to respond to a question or chime in.

    The meeting facilitator should give a reminder at the top of the meeting for people to mute to help avoid interruptions throughout the meeting.

  2. #2
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    The rules of video conferencing at home

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    Re: The rules of video conferencing at home

    I was in a food broker warehouse and a sleep apnea clinic today installing new copiers.

    You can video conference all you want but some industries that require the manufacturer or trade of physical goods do not lend themselves to the digital life.

    Nevertheless, I feel that video conferencing is a vital new skill to learn as long as the Corona Virus pandemic exits. We can talk to customers on the phone, we can email them but often now we cannot meet them in person.

    Of course, you cannot turn a screwdriver or replace a stripped gear on a copier via the internet.

    I also think that older more unreliable copiers will be replaced faster because the on-site service levels that customers have come to expect to keep their old clunkers going are just not going to be there.

    By the way, at the sleep apnea clinic, everywhere I went in that office, everything I touched, they had to sanitize after I left. For me and for every customer who walked in the front door.

  3. #3
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: The rules of video conferencing at home

    Quote Originally Posted by SalesServiceGuy View Post
    Don't sweat your background too much

    If you have space in your home for a home office, that certainly makes it a lot easier to find a place to join a video call.

    But for people living in smaller dwellings, the home office could be the kitchen table, sofa or the bedroom -- and that's ok.

    Look for a background that is not distracting and put away any personal items that might be embarrassing or you want to keep private.

    And don't worry about any sports memorabilia, vacation photos or movie posters hanging on the wall. "Use those things to establish the human connections," said Arvai.

    However, if you are meeting with a new or potential client, take the time to look more put together, Whitmore said. "If you need to make a first impression, don't do it in your bedroom in your bed surrounded by your covers."
    My daughter is the current Computer Science and Engineering Chair at California State University Bakersfield. Starting this week the they have shut the campus down for all bet essential personnel. As a result they are now having all "meetings" using video conferencing. I noticed the links you provided showed Zoom Video Communications which is what the University uses. According to her, Zoom does provide a virtual background option that can be used. It does however have a tendency of losing you if you move too much.

  4. #4
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    The rules of video conferencing at home

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    Re: The rules of video conferencing at home

    Quote Originally Posted by SalesServiceGuy View Post
    I was in a food broker warehouse and a sleep apnea clinic today installing new copiers.

    You can video conference all you want but some industries that require the manufacturer or trade of physical goods do not lend themselves to the digital life.

    Nevertheless, I feel that video conferencing is a vital new skill to learn as long as the Corona Virus pandemic exits. We can talk to customers on the phone, we can email them but often now we cannot meet them in person.

    Of course, you cannot turn a screwdriver or replace a stripped gear on a copier via the internet.

    I also think that older more unreliable copiers will be replaced faster because the on-site service levels that customers have come to expect to keep their old clunkers going are just not going to be there.

    By the way, at the sleep apnea clinic, everywhere I went in that office, everything I touched, they had to sanitize after I left. For me and for every customer who walked in the front door.
    As far as the front door goes, customers were only allowed to walk in the front door, three feet by appointment. They were met at the door by a worker, socially distanced and handed what goods they required.

  5. #5
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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