Three decades after it first emerged on the scene, video conferencing has quickly turned into an everyday part of business operations. And because of recent innovations like the NEC VoIP phone system, many companies now see it as a viable method of increasing collaboration and reducing travel expenses. In addition, these companies are eager to extend its value to both desktop and mobile users throughout their networks.
New York-based market research firm Harris Interactive conducted a 2012 poll which showed that over 10% of American adults are comfortable video chatting in the bathroom, while 25% believe that the bedroom is also an acceptable place to engage in work-related video conferencing. In addition, 35% of employed Americans don’t take issue with video conferencing poolside and in a bathing suit. The truth is, video conferencing comes with its own set of rules and code of conduct that takes the place of conventional manners for meetings. By all means, don’t let the compact screens fool you; there are proper and improper ways to conduct yourself even when using a NEC VoIP phone system – and shortcomings will be noticed.
- Avoid Typing: While typing during a video conference can seem quite unavoidable, especially when you need to take notes, the fact is, it creates a distraction for other participants. Apart from the noise that the keys make, other people in the conference might get the impression that you are not focused on the conversation at hand. Avoid this oft-overlooked faux pas, and prepare a pen and pad for handwritten notes instead.
- Make Eye Contact: The importance of making eye contact in a virtual meeting cannot be overemphasized. This is the first step in turning a video call into the experience of an in-person exchange. Keeping eye contact establishes trust and communicates to co-participants that the meeting is important to you. However, it is not necessarily mandatory to keep your eyes on the computer camera at all times; at key moments in which everyone’s eyes are on you, such as when you are giving a presentation, be sure to engage with the camera more frequently.
- No Eating: Eating during an in-person meeting in a boardroom is not okay, and neither is eating during a video conference. Just because the other participants can’t smell your sandwich doesn’t mean that they can’t somehow see or hear you chewing and swallowing. Food can be a great distraction during a video conference and can easily degrade an otherwise successful presentation by making you appear apathetic and unprofessional.
- Pay Attention: Doing something other than being 100% focused on the meeting can actually be detected by other participants, despite the fact that they can’t see what’s on your screen. Distraction signs like eyes drifting away, or the sound of typing fingers can derail a conversation and make other people feel like you are not interested in what is being discussed.
Though there are plenty more do’s and don’ts that people should be aware of during a video conference, like dressing appropriately, excusing yourself when you have to leave, and having a clean visible area, virtual meetings have made communication, coordination, and collaboration much more efficient for many industries