9. November 2020

The corona pandemic has driven mobile working.

Many companies have sent their employees home to stop the virus. And lo and behold, many enjoy it. Not only the employees, who save themselves the long commute and can work more flexibly from home. Employers also have advantages: they save office costs in the long run and benefit from working more efficiently from home – this has been shown by a study published in Forbes Magazine*. According to this, 91 percent of respondents stated that they work more productively in the home office.

What is neglectedin mobile working, however, is the interpersonal cooperation among colleagues. Just chatting at the copier or having your colleague show you something on your laptop is bad in the home office. Meetings have also taken on a different character. Now everything is held by phone or online video conference.

Advantages of video conferencing compared to telephone conferences

An interesting study on the topic of video conferencing versus telephone conference was conducted years ago by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO)**. In the test, there were both conference call and video conferencing groups that had to perform a task using joint editing software. This means that the task had to be processed by all participants simultaneously in one document, as in a real conference. The tasks were set in such a way that they could not be solved by simple division of labor or delegation. Each working group came to a conclusion at about the same time. What was striking, however, was the way in which the discussions took place. A compromise solution was found more quickly by telephone. 81 percent of the participants stated that the task was not really solved together by telephone. During the video conference, participants discussed in much more detail and longer,resulting in a stronger team spirit. The involvement in the decision gave the team members a better sense of togetherness and they were more satisfied with the result and stood behind their decision. Maybe you are now thinking about creating the next meeting via video than picking up the phone. To ensure that everything runs smoothly during the next online video conference, we have summarized the most important video conferencing tips for you.

Tips for a successful video conference

Before the video conference

  • A stable Internet connection is the be-all and end-all
    With frozen image and interrupted sound, video meeting online not only takes longer, but also costs nerves. If you have to repeat everything more often because you are poorly understood, it is exhausting for you, and the listener is also annoyed. Therefore, make sure that you have a proper Internet connection. Especially with conference participants from other countries or continents, it will be exciting. Here we recommend our SD-WAN. This means that you are not only fast and reliable on the net, but also safe. If you participate in the video conference on the go, whether in the car or by train, make sure that you do not drive from one radio hole to the next.
  • Choose the right video conferencing tool
    There are more and more video conferencing tools that are constantly getting better. Which one is suitable for you depends on a few factors. On the one hand, it depends on which tools the other participants use. If you want to get in touch with customers via video meeting, it’s best to ask the customerwhat they like best. Whether you otherwise hold the conference with Skype for Business, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Jitsi Meet, Webex, TeamViewer, or as they are all called, is usually a matter of taste. Just remember that Skype for Business will soon be replaced by Microsoft Teams. All information can be found in our blog article. Free tools often can’t be used with many participants or are limited in time. We at the BPV Group have been working with Microsoft 365 for a long time. Not only do you have the entire Microsoft Office program for your employees, you can also use Microsoft Teams without restriction. Let’s talkabout your wishes.
  • Send the video conference invitation including agenda early
    If you want to plan the video conference perfectly, send the invitation for the online video conference to all participants in good time, including the tool selection with dial-in info,so that all participants can adjust to this at an early stage. Ideally, you should send an agenda directly so that everyone knows what the meeting is all about.
  • Clothes make people – even at online meetings
    If you work from home, it can easily happen that you walk around all day with sweatpants and dishempt hair. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you have an important online video meeting, you should dress accordinglyso that you are taken seriously by the other person on the screen. When choosing clothes, pay attention to inconspicuous clothing, checks, for example, look very restless on the screen.
  • The environment is perceived
    With many video conferencing tools, you can choose the background yourself so that the other participants do not see your untidy study. Here you can blur the background with a blur, or you can choose a suitable one from a repertoire of images. If you do not have the option, choose a quiet background atmosphere and turn off noise such as radio or aircraft noise through open windows. In addition, make sure that you have sufficient lightand that you are clearly visible on the monitor. Avoid backlight, such as a window in the background, because then only a dark contour of you may be visible. Sit alone in front of the computer, keep at a distance of about one and a half meters from the camera and place it at eye level.
  • Attention when desktop sharing
    If you want to share your desktop during the video conference, you should first check which programs are still open. Embarrassing entries on Facebook or private photos could be uncomfortable for you.
  • The technical requirements for a video conference
    All you need for a video conference is a webcam and, ideally, a headset. The webcam should have at least a Full HD resolution so that you can be seen well by the other person. When purchasing the headset, pay attention to the Active Noise Cancelling feature. This dampens background noise. Microphones with echo cancellers ensure that feedback and unpleasant echo noises are avoided in the event of poor room acoustics. If you sit together with several employees at a table, a speakerphone in the middle of the table is suitable. We provide you with this equipment for a good video conference at a good price-performance ratio. Please contact us! Plan a test phase when preparing for the video conference: Try out sound, image and transmission quality beforehand so that there are no unpleasant surprises at the conference.

During the video conference

  • Adhere to courtesy rules
    The first video conferencing rule is: Be on time and don’t let the other participants wait! In video conferences, it is all the more important to speak clearly,as the transmission quality is not as good as when you sit opposite each other. Look into the camera while speaking – you also look into the eyes of your counterpart during a personal conversation. And please let the other people pronounce,interruptions are never polite. If there are delays in the transmission for technical reasons, wait a little longer until you respond.
  • Avoid noise
    To prepare for the video conference, you should remember to mute your phone so that you are not distracted. To avoid further noise, it’s best to turn off your microphone when you’re not speaking. But please remember to turn it on again if you want to say something, anything else would be counterproductive. Tip: Some headsets will give you a hint when you speakbut are still muted!
  • Concentration on the essentials
    If you want it to be a successful video conference, give up your multitasking skills. In a video conference, it doesn’t go down so well when the other participants see that you are answering emails or having fun with your mobile phone. Stay on topic.

After the video conference

  • Create a log together
    In order for all participants of the online video conference to feel better involved in the decision-making process, you should summarize all the topics discussed together in one document. According to the Fraunhofer Institute, this strengthens productivity and remains sustainable.

We wish you every success at the next online video meeting!

* TINYpulse: What Leaders Need to Know About Remote Workers PDF

** Work more successfully with video conferencing

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