As wonderful as it is for us to live in the age of video conferencing which allows us to stay connected at a time like this, there is some getting used to communicating over our phones and computers. Before your next call, browse through these tips and watch as your meetings become more productive!

Turn your video on, don’t be a lurker! This might be a no-brainer for some, but having your video turned on while in a call allows for a greater connection between you and your colleagues. Being able to see your face aids in non-verbal communication, so don’t be shy. This also means you need to pay attention to your lighting – if your light source is coming from behind you, no one will be able to see your face. Place a lamp to your side or in front of you for better lighting.

Lock your meeting! Just to prevent anyone else from mistakenly entering when they weren’t invited. Not that we’d know anything about that though…

Since we will be working from home for the foreseeable future, it might be worthwhile to add your Webex (or whichever platform you’re using) link to your email signature. That way, someone can easily find the information they need when entering the call.

Come dressed for the occasion. Studies show that getting dressed while working from home sends signals to your brain that you’re in work-mode, making you more productive. Why not carry over that same logic to video calls? Plus you always want to look presentable when speaking with colleagues and partners.

Mute your mic when you’re not speaking. Dogs barking, heavy breathing, indistinct conversations, all of these make for a less than stellar web call. Best to mute yourself while someone else is speaking. And be sure to unmute when you are talking!

Look at the camera, or at least at the screen that holds your video. Talking to someone who’s looking at their external monitor feels impersonal. It can also make it feel like the person you’re speaking to is perhaps doing something else…so, please, devote your whole attention to the call!

Most of all, it’s important to remain patient and be kind on these calls. No matter how hard we may try, it’s virtually impossible to prevent your kid from running into the room during your meeting but let’s do what we can to create a productive environment in each web call we hold.