In today’s age, technology is getting bigger and bigger. Many companies are opting to hold meetings online via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft teams, etc.
Online meetings may be convenient, but they are not all that easy to crack. The variety of memes and jokes of people caught unprepared by their boss and coworkers attest to this. From peculiar coffee mugs to dressing disasters, online meetings have taken us all by storm.
This article details five key ways to avoid an online disaster and instead ensure your next Zoom meeting is flawless.
1. Ensure the Basics.
There are times in our lives when everything seems out of our control. However, it is crucial to attempt to limit these discrepancies, especially in a professional setting.
You want to make sure you have the basics before worrying about the surface-level stuff, and with online meetings, the ‘basics’ means one thing: your internet connection.
Not everyone has a stable connection, but it’s essential for your work. For example, if you live in an apartment building, it may pay off to discuss having MDU-managed wifi with your landlord.
If you do not live in a multi-dwelling apartment, it may be best to connect your laptop or computer to your phone’s hotspot or have an ethernet cable on standby in advance. That way, if the wifi goes out, you can take care of it quickly.
2. Set the Location.
It is beneficial to have a specific place where you take your work meetings and calls in your home. For most people, this tends to be an office at home. However, if you do not have an office at home, then don’t fret! There are tons of other places where you can take your calls in private.
An excellent place to construct an office is in your bedroom. However, do not take a call from your bed. Instead, place a chair and a coffee table in the corner of your bedroom, and you have yourself a DIY home office!
If your house is boisterous during the day due to increased activity (kids, pets, etc.), consider taking online meetings outdoors or sending the kids/ pets outside for a bit. The key is consistency.
Once you have a specific work area, you can ensure that no embarrassing pictures or laundry is lying around for the camera to see.
3. Pre-Plan for Your Meeting.
During normal work conditions, most people plan for their meetings. You should do the same thing for online meetings. However, the planning is a little bit different.
For online meetings, it can be helpful to inform everyone in the house that you have a meeting so that they can try to be quiet. Also, walk and feed your pets, so they don’t start whining.
As far as coffee and clothes go, it is best to have a blazer around your computer at all times so that you can throw it on at the last minute. It is also wise to invest in plain coffee mugs. Board meetings with your boss might not be the best time to break out the mug you got from your friend’s bachelor party.
4. It’s All About Angles.
When you’re online, it is easy to manipulate the camera into showing only what you want displayed. For example, if your home “office” has become cluttered, you can control what your coworkers see by elevating your computer/laptop with notebooks or magazines.
ALWAYS open up the camera application on your computer before a meeting to see what everyone else will see. You can control the image your colleagues see by elevating your camera or by simply tilting it down a little bit.
5. Edit Your Computer.
Sometimes, it is easier to edit our computers than our houses. Instead of getting the dog to stop barking, it may be easier to turn up the sensitivity on your microphone so that your coworkers can’t hear your dog, but they can still hear you.
You can do this on many computers through the sound mixer option, or on apps like Zoom, in settings.
Online meetings may be here to stay for their convenience, but these meetings do not have to be a burden. You can make the most of these meetings by simply following a few key steps so that your meeting goes off without a hitch.