Working from home: Video conferencing tips

by Chloe Gunn

At Catalyst, we have been conducting some very scientific research. Ok, so we just did a survey or two – but we have some very useful tips as a result of our (very scientific) results that may help you while you work from home.

Firstly we shared our tips and tricks for wellbeing in your daily work-from-home life, and now we are sharing our advice for optimal video calls. 

Video call etiquette

  • Be prepared with an agenda, share this with your attendees in advance and have someone chair the session to keep everyone on track.

  • If you are the chair, keep an eye out for people who look like they need to contribute and encourage them to do so. 

  • Be considerate of people’s time by using email when appropriate to avoid unnecessary video conference calls.

Mic Drop

  • Mic test, one two, one two: your volume shouldn’t be too high or low. Make use of BigBlueButton’s echo test. If possible a headset is best, inbuilt microphones are not top quality and may echo.

  • Mic drop: It’s best practice to mute your mic by default to cut down on background noise.

  • If you are the key speaker and would rather some interaction, ask people to unmute their mic but be mindful (mute when drinking coffee, typing or experiencing an increase in home life noise).

  • When you log into a call people can hear you before your screen may be fully loaded – be mindful and courteous of any conversations you may be having.

Video Stars

  • Share your webcam; it helps everyone feel more connected and the conversation feels more natural.

  • Make the call full screen so your attention isn’t diverted elsewhere.

  • If you are experiencing bandwidth issues, entering a call with a large number of attendees, or if someone is screen-sharing or running a presentation then you can turn off video or reduce the quality.

  • Don’t worry about people in your house popping up in the background, no-one minds seeing your kids or pets pop-up. We’re all human and just doing our best!

And finally

  • Be on a wired connection if possible.

  • Use calendar invites to schedule meetings, the same way you would in the office as this helps everyone keep track of their meetings and their associated URLs.

  • Practice with the platform you are using; call a friend and try out moderating, screen sharing, finding gallery view, recording meetings and more.

  • Always keep your video calls secure with access codes and moderators.


Love our useful graphic? Download it here.
VC tips graphic

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Catalyst is a New Zealand owned and operated company where openness, long term relationships, community and diversity are essential characteristics of how we do business. Since 1997, Catalyst has been enabling success with expert open source solutions, and clients all over the world trust us with their mission-critical systems.