10 Tips to be Camera Ready When Working from Home
If you are one of the millions of remote workers, you know that virtual meetings help teams stay connected across time zones. When it comes to working from home and connecting via conference calls with your remote work colleagues, what steps do you take to make sure you are prepared? How do you prepare for a video call, specifically?
If you’re still sorting out how to feel confident in video meetings and stay engaged with your colleagues, you’re not alone! Connecting through a computer screen is difficult. The good news is that these 10 tips will help you stay camera-ready while working from home.
In this post:
- 10 Tips to Set Up Your WFH Office for Video Calls
- 5 Must-Have Items in Your Video Chat Kit
- Related Articles
10 Tips to Set Up Your WFH Office for Video Calls
- Get good lighting.
- Position your camera to eye level.
- Perform an audio check.
- Find a comfortable seat.
- Sit close but not too close.
- Keep a simple background or use a virtual one.
- Wear work-appropriate clothes that are comfortable.
- Have water, coffee, or tea handy.
- Try to avoid having a messy desk.
- Prepare a video chat kit for spontaneous meetings.
Get good lighting.
When it comes to video conferencing calls, lighting is very important. When possible, use natural light from a window to illuminate your face on the screen. When that is not a possibility, consider adding an artificial light source to make yourself visible to the other video call attendees.
It’s all about the placement of the lighting. Our advice is to avoid using harsh light on either side of your face, as it will create dark shadows. You should also avoid positioning a light behind yourself, as it will create a silhouette. Don’t worry if you’ve done that before, it’s a common mishap. For the best lighting, try to illuminate your face evenly – a ring light is worth consideration!
Position your camera to eye level.
Video conference calls are the closest thing remote workers have to face-to-face meetings. So, it’s important to keep your camera at eye level when possible.
Doing so will allow you to connect with your colleagues and look flattering while doing so. Our advice is to use a laptop riser or add a few books under your laptop to give it a bit of height.
If moving your computer or laptop is not a possibility, another way to connect with colleagues is to look directly at the camera when you are talking. It may feel awkward at first but making eye contact is a natural way most humans connect. And while working remotely, connecting with others is important!
Perform an audio check.
During your meetings, it’s important to be seen and heard. So when time permits, check your audio beforehand to help combat stress during your call.
Generally speaking, if you’re in a quiet space, your laptop or computer’s built-in microphone should suffice. However, if you anticipate background noise or need to amplify your voice a bit, consider using a microphone that you can position close to your face.
Find a comfortable seat.
Remote workers often sit for prolonged periods so finding a comfortable chair is imperative. If you have long meetings, make sure you’re comfy before getting started. Having an ergonomic chair can also lead to better posture and more productivity – an added benefit!
Sit close but not too close.
When you’re on a video chat, it’s important to show that you are actively listening to others. So, sit up and sit close to your screen – but not too close! Avoid awkward camera angles or sitting so close that your face fills the entire computer screen.
Keep a simple background or use a virtual one.
One of the best work from home tips we can give you is to keep a simple background for video conferencing calls. If you’re working environment is too chaotic or you work in multiple spaces, consider using a virtual background or blur filter to obscure the focus a bit.
Simple or minimalistic backgrounds work best because they are not distracting. So, curate your workspace to make it appropriate, organized, and distraction-free. And, if possible, set ground rules with your family members to make sure they are not visible in your background during your work calls. If you simply can’t guarantee that you’ll be anywhere with a simplistic background during your next meeting, use a virtual one of your choosing!
Wear work-appropriate clothes that are comfortable.
Remote jobs blur the lines between home life and work-life – so it’s pretty common to generate reports while wearing cookie monster pajamas, for instance.
And that’s okay, except for during meetings. When you have to hop on video with clients, colleagues, or your supervisor, you should look work-appropriate. We’re not suggesting that you wear a stuffy suit or heels from your home office.However, you should consider the industry that you work in and wear clothes that are appropriate for that industry.
For instance, if you work in Finance, you might need an actual blouse or button-up top. But if you have a remote job as a designer, developer, or creative professional; you might get away with a more casual look. Want our advice in a nutshell?Consider your work environment and company culture then dress accordingly!
Have water, coffee, or tea handy.
Meetings can be long. To ensure you can get through your discussion without interruption, keep a beverage handy. You can sip from your choice of water, coffee, tea, protein shake, or any other work-appropriate beverage. However, we recommend water specifically, as it will hydrate you and leave considerably less damage if accidentally spilled on your garment.
Try to avoid having a messy desk.
You might be thinking, what does cleanliness have to do with video chatting? It might sound like a bit of a stretch but keeping a relatively neat desk can be beneficial for productivity and mindfulness during working hours. We get it – everyone’s desk gets messy from time to time. But, if you can, avoid having a messy desk during your calls and see how less distracted you are.
Prepare a video chat kit for spontaneous meetings.
Have you ever needed to hop on video and weren’t prepared? It happens to the best of us. But there is a simple solution to that. Create a simple video chat kit so you never have to worry about what to wear for a late notice call!
5 Must-Have Items in Your Video Chat Kit
- work-appropriate shirt
- hand mirror
- face wipes
- hairbrush, comb, or accessories
- face moisturizer
Keep the items above in a dedicated bag in your home office or nearby the couch if you prefer to work from there! Having this handy will save you time and stress when it comes to preparing for video calls.