Video Calls 101


Video Calls 101

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time


COVID-19 has made one thing clear, we cannot survive without modern technology. Video calling was once the go-to choice for introverts, long-distance lovers and international remote working teams. Now it’s a must-have for everyone who wants to communicate with one another during the lockdown.

Even our grans are getting into it. So here are a few tips on video-calling etiquette to help you make the most of your meetings, family chats and friendly catch-ups.

Testing! Testing!

The first thing you have to do is test the technology you’re meant to use. There is a myriad of video calling platforms available and while most of them use the same icons or buttons, there are nuances in terms of how they operate. Even if you’re familiar with the platform, it helps to run a test call with someone else to make sure that everyone can hear and see you. Speaking of which…

Everyone Can Hear And See You

It’s worth remembering that video calling, when fully functional, allows everyone to hear and see you on the call. This means they can see your messy house, your loose bun and hear the dogs barking in the background. If it’s a business call particularly, make sure you check that your background is tidy and make an effort with your appearance. Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to treat yourself and your colleagues with a little respect. And, don’t get us wrong; it’s not about wearing a ball gown either. It’s just about letting others know that you take the call seriously and value their time.

Learn When To Mute Visual And Audio

It’s common courtesy to mute your audio when someone else is speaking on a call. You then switch it back on when you want to reply. It allows the person to speak without any interruptions that may happen in your space, like when children are playing or dogs are barking. A good rule of thumb is, if someone is happy to reveal themselves on camera, you should be prepared to do the same. 

Plan For It

Calls with family or friends are obviously more relaxed but make sure you have a clear agenda when engaging with work video calls. These meetings can spiral out of control rather quickly if there isn’t a firm plan or structure in place to ensure that everyone’s time is used wisely. If you’re planning to play an online game with friends or family, make sure you brief everyone on how the technology BEFORE you get onto the call. Otherwise, you’re just going to spend an hour herding cats. Trust us, we speak from experience.

Remember To Exit the Meeting And Switch Off Video/Audio

We’ve seen so many funny videos of what people say when they think no one is listening. Make sure you’re out of the meeting and that your video and audio is completely disconnected once it’s done. If you’re tempted to have a vent to your partner about your boss after the call, make sure you’re out and that no one can hear you. It could be very career limiting otherwise.

Remember, we’re all learning new things, so ask someone to help you if you need advice on how to manage all these new technologies. We’re all in this together, even when we’re apart.

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