Top 3 Tips for Setting up your Zoom with a Zoom-Room
Check your lighting
One of the most important aspects of any video conferencing call is the light placement. Believe us when we say taking light as a fundamental component of any video meeting will ensure that you are a master of “home-working”. In fact, light placement can be the difference between efficient communication or a breakdown in convoyence when working away from the office.
As stipulated by Terence Taylor, an independent video writer and producer, “you don't want the light behind you” creating a silhouette of yourself and emulating a “film noir villain” lurking in the shadows. Whilst this is a common mistake many individuals encounter, it can affect the overall delivery and professionalism of the conference call, particularly if it is an extremely important meeting.
Facial expressions create dynamism. They give the impression that you stand behind your ideas and believe in them. Recent research shows that when you use your face, specifically the little lines around your eyes (known as Duchenne markers) you’re perceived as conveying more intense and sincere emotions. Accordingly, important presentations, proposals, or even interviews necessitate this kind of behavioural aspect colleagues / businesses require to make inference about yourself. If you are truly passionate about a new business venture but your face is unrecognisable, it is very likely that this enthusiasm will be affected as a result. Thus, light placement is key to any conference call.
The best place to put your lighting is in front of you so your face can be seen clearly. Ellen Fanning, director of visual and digital media at IDG, agrees. "It could be a window, it could be artificial light, just as long as you're facing it," she says. Consequently, side lamps or embedding lighting within your desk may be a fruitful design option for any conference call meetings, to provide ample light; particularly after hours.
Obviously side lamps require you to have additional storage space in close proximity to your desktop / laptop, which is not always a viable option for those individuals who are using a makeshift office. Products with built-in lighting, whether it be in their storage units like our Zoom-Desk are the most favourable choice, as they can be directly placed underneath yourself without sacrificing essential work space.
Audio during video conferencing is just as important as proper lighting. In a video meeting, you don’t just want to be seen; you want to be heard clearly as well. If you're in a quiet room, you can probably use the microphone on your laptop. Otherwise, it's a good idea to use a microphone that's closer to your face. A decent pair of headphones that are equipped with a mic should work fine, especially if they enable you to talk at a normal, conversational level.
Many homes do not come equipped with a spare room that could be transformed into a separate working area - where a laptop microphone would work quite nicely. Thus, shared work areas and busy homes will necessitate a more professional Zoom setup with a better microphone and / or soundproofing.
If you do require your own dedicated private space due to high-volumes of video conferencing, multi-functioning furniture can be extremely beneficial. For example, a high-quality Zoom-Desk installed within your guest room can present you with your own working quarters that is protected from distractions. However, with a click of a button, a bed can appear for when guests come over to stay. Practicality and function merged in one.
3. Keep it simple
This may seem self-explanatory, but working from home can be slightly chaotic, particularly if your house is not equipped with organised files and cabinets to house your never-ending work documents.
"Just try to keep it as clutter-free as possible," says Fanning. "You don't want it to be completely sterile, but you don't want a pile of stuff on the desk either." When setting up for a conference call, a tidy desk should be at the forefront of your mind to avoid visual distractions and additional stress when speaking to your colleagues, boss, employers etc. Moreover, allowing any businessman or woman to see a disorganised and cluttered workstation does not give off the best impression! Our advice is to keep only the most salient documents on your desk during video conferencing, with the remaining work files tucked away in cabinets to keep everything in order. This includes keeping cables for any electrical equipment stored away in a tidy manner, to avoid any serious injury, should they overheat or you trip. Products like our Zoom-Desk are housed with additional storage options for your work files, as well as power strip, USB ports and cellphone/tablet stand to keep all electrical components well-organised during your working day.
Taylor also agrees that an uncomplicated background is best. "If somebody is looking over your shoulder at family photos and wondering where you took your vacation last year, that may be distracting from the discussion," he says. That said, employers understand that you may be working in a very alien environment at the moment, however posters or vacation pictures are best avoided to prevent any distraction from yourself!
And that’s it. These are our top 3 tips for helping employers master their Zoom-conference whilst working from home. Whether it’s correct light placement, clear audio or organised work stations, each component is important to keep as professional and proficient as possible to prospective colleagues, bosses and businesses as a whole. Thankfully, our Zoom-Desk can assist with each of these factors, helping you become a master of home-working.