How Can I Make My Home Workspace Look Professional for Video Conferences?
In the post COVID-19 world, business video conferences have taken on an entirely new level of importance. Only now, most people are doing them from home rather than the office.
Companies across the UK have adjusted their operations due to the pandemic, sending workers home to telecommute. Connecting via video with coworkers and clients is just about the only form of a face-to-face meeting that can currently be held safely.
Thankfully, technology solutions have made running an office with a remote workforce possible. But many people have realised that without their office as a backdrop, their online video presence looks less than professional.
Have you found yourself working from home and shying away from video meetings because you don’t like how they look? We’ve got several helpful tips to create a more professional appearance during your online conferences.
Tips for a Professional-Looking Video Presence
The reliance on video conferencing due to the pandemic is apparent when you look at the increase in downloads of software. Video conferencing apps like Skype and Zoom have seen more than a 100% jump in downloads in March, and the numbers keep rising.
When you’ve transitioned to a home workspace, it’s important to still put your best foot forward when you’re meeting by video. The following tips can help you step up your video conference game.
Create a Single Space
You want to begin by choosing a single space in your home that will act as your workspace. Or if you work in different areas of your home, at least a single space for your video calls.
By designating one area that you use for every call, you’ll be able to control the background, keep it consistent, and it allows others in your home to know where to expect you to be when you’re on a video call.
Less is More When it Comes to the Background
A cluttered background is distracting when on a video call and can make your home workspace look messy. You want to situate yourself in front of a backdrop that’s simple.
A few ideal backdrops would be:
- Wall with just a few photos
- Wall with a photo and a plant
- A bookcase
- An uncluttered side table against a wall
When choosing a backdrop, avoid having too much space behind you. It’s better to be in front of a wall.
Test out the look of your backdrop while on camera with a friend or colleague until you have it looking just right.
Put the Light Source in Front of You
Lighting is another important aspect of looking professional on a video conference. If the lighting is poor, you can look like you’re in a dark room and your face can be difficult for everyone else to see.
You want to put the light source in front of you. Natural light is the best to avoid harsh shadows, but that’s not always possible, especially when it’s cloudy outside.
A soft, directional light source is better to avoid being lit too brightly. Be careful about sitting in front of an open window as well. With the light behind you it can cause your face to appear shadowed.
Position Yourself Just Right
How you’re positioned is another factor you’ll want to test out on camera first. We’ve all been on those video conferences where all you could see was someone’s head or their laptop was too low and gave a view at a strange angle.
For a professional looking video presence, use these positioning tips:
- Camera at eye level
- Don’t sit too close
- Position the distance so that your shoulders can be seen
- Center yourself in the video view
Sit Up Straight
No one looks professional when they’re slouched down or sitting on a sofa that’s more suited to watching the telly than to working.
You want to sit up straight and use an upright chair. Use a desk chair or other type that will accomplish the same purpose of making you appear in “work mode.”
Use a Headset or Earbuds
Sound is a big part of video meetings and if you’re just relying on your computer’s mic and speakers, you can end up with bad acoustics or an echo.
Use a headset or earbuds when you’re on video calls both for good sound quality and to reduce the chance of background noise coming from another part of your home.
Make the Effort with Clothing and Grooming
You don’t want someone to immediately know you’re working from home because of that unkempt weekend look. Make the effort to wear something professional looking and get yourself ready for a video conference just as you do when you’re going into the office.
That additional effort will go a long way towards putting you at your best, both in look and confidence, for your video conferences.
How Reliable Are Your Software Solutions?
Are you having trouble finding a video conferencing tool that your team likes? Need additional help with collaboration apps? Enable Technology can assist you with the best solutions to fit your remote workforce needs.