With more and more workers transitioning to work from home and remote work positions, people are adopting tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts to facilitate video conferencing en masse.
With the deluge of people moving into video conferencing, here’s a few ways you can set you and your team up for success so you can get more done, become more productive and save time.
Take The Hassle Out of Scheduling
Everyone’s having more virtual meetings. One of the initial pain points is going to be finding a time that works for everyone.
You can use a scheduling app like Woven to dynamically schedule your meetings via a link, use a group poll to determine the best time or use availability sharing to dynamically find the best time to meet.
Instead of engaging in scheduling wars to no-end, you can create a scheduling link in 3 clicks and be done with it.
Get The Right Gear
We cover this a little in our remote work guide, but investing just a little in improving your home desk setup will help make video conferencing a breeze. There’s nothing worse than grainy, jumpy, poorly list setup.
For less than $200, you can improve a ton of your non-verbal communication with a very straightforward setup.
Also – if you don’t have a great built-in microphone, you can use this one from AudioTechnica for under $100. It’s got a USB port to plug directly into your computer. You can upgrade your sound in a minute with no major audio equipment required.
I also found these two guides that were particularly helpful when upgrading my own desk setup recently.
Use Great Video Conferencing Software
From our birds-eye view of the calendar, Zoom is easily considered the leader-of-the-pack when it comes to video conferencing. After that, it’s Google Hangouts, GoTo Meeting, Uberconference and Skype.
There’s tons of great software out there, so there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. If you use Woven, we integrate directly with both Hangouts and Zoom to make your life even easier.
Improve Your Wifi
If you can, upgrade your wifi. It makes a world of difference when handling large video calls. You can also connect directly with an ethernet cable to make sure you don’t drop anything.
You may be able to have your work reimburse this expense depending on how your team is adapting to the circumstances.
Use Video Part of Video Conferencing Whenever Possible
A lot of people simply do voice calls when remote. Scratch that. Always use video whenever you can.
With the absence of a physical presence in an office, it’s important to see your team members face-to-face to pick up on mannerisms, unspoken reactions and other things that don’t come across on just a video call.
Whenever you can, use video.
Use Video Conference Best Practices
When You’re Not Talking, Go Mute
When possible – especially on large video conferencing calls, mute yourself if you’re not the one speaking. This helps a lot with background noises. Also, if you’re working from home as a parent, you don’t have to worry about kids making background noise.
Set Your Camera At Eye Level
You want to be able to look directly at the camera when you’re speaking. Avoid having the camera set off to your side or way too high or low. You want to be able to connect with your co-workers like you would in person and give them your attention.
Respect Time Zones
If your team is remote and distributed, you want to be able to make sure you respect time zones. You don’t want to schedule events for 5pm on PST if you have someone in New York where it’s 8pm. Same in reverse. Know each other’s time zones and do what you can to respect them.
Woven is a next-generation calendar app designed to help remote workers schedule their work and life with ease so they can get more done, become more productive, and spend time on things that matter most. You can try us out for free here.
Other great video conferencing guides
This is just the start of the remote work revolution. If you want additional guides on using video conferencing to become more productive, here are some of our favorites: