You may feel this doesn’t have to be said, but if you are in a roomful of folks, and you are part of a video conference with other far-flung rooms of folks. You are in front of your group. This is not the time to be filing your nails. Remember where you are. You are in a work meeting. Have some respect for your company and your colleagues.
Somewhere on every piece of video conferencing equipment, you can mute your audio so that you cannot be heard. You should be very familiar with the location of this button and be able to click it on with a quickness.
Of course, hearing a wailing baby in a conference call is an issue. That’s apparent. But what about the cursing spouse audible in the background or the naked little one streaking by you during a video conference. If you’re trying to display professionalism while you work at home, these will emasculate you in a huge way. Be sure your family knows and abides by your work-at-home rules.
Who doesn’t love their doggie or kitty? The folks with whom you’re having a video conference who have to listen to your dog barking or your cat meowing.
Unless there’s a small group in the meeting and you feel you have obtained a high level of trust and confidence with these folks, it’s not a great idea to put your pet on your lap during your video meeting.
A home office must have a door so that you can shut out pets, children and other distractions during phone meetings and video meetings. Also, this is useful if your meeting coincides with the dog’s happiest times of the day: when someone rings your doorbell.
Online video conferencing applications like WebEx, Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting are excellent tools that let those who work at home virtually meet with colleagues and clients. It allows for quick decision-making and creating a rapport with co-workers at the same time. All this professional collaboration makes it simpler for those of us desiring work-life balance to find it.
These online tools are excellent until they are not
While meetings with these tools can be effective ways for folks to come together, there are a couple of cautionary tales. For instance, the woman who was filing her nails during a meeting while she was being shown on a wall-size screen at the company’s other locations around the globe.
And then there was the guy who was working from home and visible in a meeting only from the chest up. He was wearing a nice, button-down shirt. Though, when he got up from his chair to get a file, he was only wearing underwear.
Despite these glitches, virtual meetings are increasing in the corporate world. Those of us who work at home really appreciate this. Technological advancements, united with the readiness by more businesses to let employees work at least part of the time from home, has made online video conferencing a cost-conscious way for employees to work together.
But there is a dark side associated with these sorts of meeting as well. It can go from downright hysterical to completely humiliating to quick dismissal from the company. If you have to participate in one of these meetings, or you need to organize a video meeting with your team, here are a couple of things to bear in mind. Avoid these catastrophes to stay professional at all times during the video conference.