Maximizing Productivity in Remote Meetings: Tips and Tricks
2 February 2023
With social distancing being a crucial measure during the current times, many employees have transitioned to working from home, which brings its challenges, such as staying focused, avoiding overworking, and maintaining productivity. One significant aspect of remote work that can be challenging is setting up an appropriate workspace for video conferencing. Whether your company uses Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex or Click Meeting, having an effective video conferencing setup is essential.
In this article, we will answer all your video conferencing questions and show you how to upgrade your home into a functional and professional workspace for video calls.
Essentials for a Good Video Call
A computer with a good camera and a stable internet connection is a given. Still, there are four equally important components to setting up a productive video conferencing workspace: Invest in Video Camera, Good Lighting, a Professional Background, an Undisturbed Environment, and Ergonomics & Functionality.
To get it right, follow this checklist in any order, as all components must align for a successful video call:
With remote work on the rise, the need for high-quality conferencing equipment has never been greater. This section will discuss some of the best conferencing equipment from three of the most reputable brands in the market: Poly, Jabra, and Epos.
Poly Conferencing Equipment
Poly is a global leader in video and audio-conferencing equipment, offering a range of products that provide crystal-clear communication and seamless collaboration. Here are some of the best conferencing equipment options from Poly:
The Poly Studio X50 is a compact and powerful video bar that provides high-quality video and audio in one easy-to-use device. It features a 4K camera and advanced audio processing technology that delivers a clear natural sound.
The Poly Studio P15 is a versatile and portable video bar that provides high-quality video and audio for individual users. It's perfect for remote workers and home offices.
The Poly Studio X30 is a powerful and easy-to-use video conferencing system that delivers crystal-clear video and audio quality. It features a 4K camera and advanced audio processing technology, making it perfect for large conference rooms.
Jabra Conferencing Equipment
Jabra is a leading manufacturer of audio-conferencing equipment, offering a range of products designed to provide high-quality sound and ease of use. Here are some of the best conferencing equipment options from Jabra:
The Jabra Speak 710 is a compact and powerful speakerphone that provides high-quality sound for conference calls and webinars. It features advanced noise-cancellation technology and is easy to use with any device.
The Jabra Evolve 65t is a versatile, portable speakerphone that provides high-quality sound for individual users. It's perfect for remote workers and home offices.
Jabra PanaCast is a powerful and easy-to-use video conferencing system that delivers crystal-clear video and audio quality. It features advanced panoramic video technology, making it perfect for large conference rooms.
Microsoft LifeCam Webcams
Microsoft is a well-known brand in the computer and technology industry, offering a range of products designed to enhance productivity and improve the overall user experience. Here are two popular Microsoft LifeCam webcams that are ideal for remote meetings:
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is a budget-friendly webcam that provides high-quality video and audio for virtual meetings. It features 720p HD video and a built-in noise-cancelling microphone that delivers clear and natural sound.
The Microsoft LifeCam Studio is a more premium webcam that provides 1080p HD video and high-fidelity audio. It features an adjustable lens that allows you to focus on your face or the environment, making it perfect for personal and professional use.
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 and the Microsoft LifeCam Studio are easy to install and use and compatible with a wide range of devices and software. Whether working from home or in a remote office, these webcams can help you enhance virtual meetings and improve communication with colleagues and clients.
Logitech Conferencing Equipment
Logitech, a leading audio and video conferencing equipment manufacturer, offers a range of products designed to make remote meetings more productive. This section will discuss some of Logitech's best conferencing equipment options.
The Logitech HD Webcam C615 is an excellent option for those who need a reliable and affordable webcam. This webcam features full HD 1080p video recording and automatic light correction, making it perfect for video calls and webinars. The C615 also has a fold-and-go design, making it easy to transport and use on the go.
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C922 is another great option for those who want a high-quality webcam. This webcam features full HD 1080p video recording and automatic light correction, making it perfect for video calls and webinars. The C922 also has a versatile mounting clip, allowing you to attach it to any monitor or tripod.
The Logitech Tap is a versatile and powerful video conferencing solution designed for large conference rooms. It features an intuitive touch screen and easy-to-use interface, making launching and controlling video conferences simple. The Tap also integrates seamlessly with other Logitech conferencing equipment, providing a seamless and cohesive experience.
These are some of the best conferencing equipment options from Poly, Jabra, Microsoft and Logitech. Whether you are looking for a video bar, speakerphone, or video conferencing system, these brands have got you covered with products that deliver high-quality sound and video, ease of use, and advanced features. Choose the one that best suits your needs and take your virtual meetings to the next level.
Good lighting is key to making a great impression on video calls. Follow these principles to create an ideal lighting setup:
- Find a place with evenly distributed natural lighting by turning on your webcam and moving around your home.
- Sit facing the brightest light source in the room, such as a window.
- If natural light is insufficient, use artificial light like a reading lamp attached to your laptop or re-purpose lamps in your home.
The background you choose for video calls should be aesthetically pleasing and functional. Consider these factors when selecting or creating a background:
- Ensure the best lighting spot aligns with the best background.
- Choose a plain, single-coloured wall.
- Avoid windows that might produce too much backlight.
- The background should not be cluttered and should not distract you during the call.
To upgrade or create a better background:
- Redesign by moving things around and adding neutral elements like plants, books, or paintings.
- Create a physical backdrop using curtains or bed sheets.
- Use a virtual background offered by video conferencing services or a third-party provider.
- Blur your background for a professional look.
By following these steps, you can create a functional and professional video conferencing setup from the comfort of your home.
This aspect is key to avoiding distractions during your video call. Even if you have set up the best lighting and background, an undisturbed environment makes the experience of video conferencing smooth.
To achieve a peaceful environment, you need to:
- Set clear boundaries with others in your house so that you are not to be disturbed during the video call.
- Close doors, windows, and curtains to avoid any external noise.
- Turn off notifications and other electronic devices that might disturb you during the call.
- If you have pets or children, ensure they are occupied during the call.
If you can't eliminate noise, look into the Poly Voyager Focus 2. It is built with active noise cancelling (ANC) technology which can effectively reduce background noise and improve the audio quality of your call or music. This makes it a good choice for noisy environments.
Working from home for prolonged periods can adversely affect your posture and health, and it is important to ensure that your workspace is ergonomic and functional.
To ensure ergonomics & functionality, you need to:
- Invest in a comfortable chair and adjust it to the right height.
- Place your computer or laptop on a desk or table at a comfortable height.
- Ensure that the keyboard and mouse are positioned comfortably within reach.
- Check that your posture is straight and that you are not slouching during the video call.
- Take breaks and stretch regularly to avoid fatigue.
With these five components in place, you are well on your way to setting up the best space for video conferencing from home. Invest in good video, lighting, background, undisturbed environment, and ergonomics & functionality are all equally important for productive video calls, so take the time to get each of these elements right.