If we’ve accomplished anything during the countless days and weeks since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s how to clear away the clutter just before it makes an appearance on our next video conference call.
Human progression at its finest…
Stop the Remote Work Madness! You Can Create a Functional Home Workspace for Video Conference Calls
We’ve moved past the point of remote work being a Band-Aid. It is officially the norm for many of today’s Central Pennsylvania businesses. And, even if you’re back in the office a few days a week, you know as well as anyone that your work life and your home life are going to keep colliding.
And yet … the video conference call seems to be where the effectiveness of remote work breaks down. It’s one thing to type away at your computer and check off your to-do list while the kids are playing in the other room. It’s an entirely different animal to successfully find a quiet space where a video conference is possible without the kids, pets, and clutter showing up in the background.
A place at home where you can participate in a virtual conference call is a key aspect of remote work. That’s why we’ve put together these five tips to help you master your next video call.
Tips to Master Your Next Video Conference Call
The trick to mastering the video conference call is preparation. Gathering the right tools for the job so you can create a comfortable, professional video space will have you focused on your work so you can be much more productive.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to video conference call mastery.
Tip #1. Focus on What’s Behind You
A big factor in successfully mastering the video conference call is controlling what your co-workers can see in the background. If you’re worried about how your home looks or are holding your breath hoping that a random kid doesn’t go running by, we’re willing to bet your contributions to the all-important Monday morning status meeting will start to dwindle.
Where you set up your computer is the first big question. Look for a spot that’s quiet, whether it’s in an out-of-the-way corner of your home or your actual home office. Position your computer so your co-workers or clients can only see what’s on the wall behind you. And be sure to choose a location out of the direct sunlight. You’ve probably seen what happens when a co-worker’s computer is flooded with light and their face disappears into a dark screen.
Tip #2: Build-In Flexibility
The video-conference-call-ready spot you’ve just designated may be in perfect working order now. But tomorrow’s a new day, and who knows what kind of work-from-home curveball is waiting for you? Home office furniture that gives you some flexibility and adapts to the environment is a good investment. For this, we love electric standing desks.
Electric standing desks are wonderful for a number of reasons, including the health benefits of not sitting all day. They’re also a big help if you need to raise your computer to get a portion of your backdrop out of view or shift your screen away from sunlight. Or, even to help the desk stay clean and organized by keeping it out of the reach of small, grabby hands.
Tip #3: You Can’t Go Wrong with a Comfy Chair
Being comfortable during a long video conference call is more important than we tend to think. When we’re uncomfortable, we shift in our seats and become distracted. The solution is a comfortable home office desk chair.
If your work-from-home workspace doubles as a section of your living room, opt for a plush or leather club chair or sofa. Bringing in a piece of office furniture that looks like it belongs in your living room helps make the work-from-home transition easier when the workday is done.
You can also add a modular side table to pull up next to your seat or sofa during a video call. This gives you some temporary workspace that you can move out of the way once your call ends.
Tip #4: Make Sure the Lighting is Right
Lighting is a big part of mastering the video call. It’s obvious to say that your co-workers and clients need to be able to see you. If you’re connecting from a poorly lit room, your screen will look dark which becomes distracting for everyone. Poor lighting can also make you look tired. Adding lights that brighten the room help you look awake and engaged on every call.
There are multiple ways to go about adding the right light to your workspace. If you’re joining your video calls from a dedicated home office, consider a mix of task lights and ambient lights so you have a bright room without creating a lot of shadows.
Add tasks lights over top of your desk, either installed into the ceiling or sitting on the desk. An LED under-cabinet strip light can focus light onto the desk below, casting a wider net of light than a desktop lamp. The answer to which type is best, or if you need to add both, will depend on the room.
Another fun way to add task lighting is to place puck lights on bookcases, hutches, or anywhere around your workspace. Puck lights are ultra-slim LED lights that are easy to add just about anywhere and really brighten up your workspace.
Tip #5: Power Your Call
Have you noticed what an hour-long video conference call does to your laptop’s battery? So have we. A successful video conference requires a constant flow of power to your computer or phone. The challenge is that the ideal video call spot in your home may not be next to an outlet. That’s where a power tower comes in to save the day.
A power tower includes a series of additional outlets and charging ports that you can place wherever you need to plug in a device. It’s a convenient alternative to running an extension cord through your living room just to power your conference call. The way we work has changed a lot this year, but our ability to create a comfortable, productive workspace hasn’t. Our furniture folks at Nolt’s are here to help you master the video conference call with the right office furniture whether you’re back in the office or working from home. Our showroom is open and stocked with new and used office furniture, so come visit us and create a video conference-worthy workspace today.