Everyday Computing, Features

Attending Online Meetings

Image of Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

With the combined realities of our state emergency, daily curfew, and need to maintain physical distancing as a practical survival measure, there is a current opportunity to embrace the solutions offered by ICT to assist us in keeping safe, sane, and social.  Working from home is a new coping reality to allow some businesses to continue functioning and serving their customers, while adhering to the physical distancing protocols designed to keep us safe.

There are collaboration tools to help us to share documents, and to attend virtual meetings. Fortunately, those of us who work in the ICT sector are already familiar with many of these tools. For those of you not yet comfortable with such tools, this article provides some practical tips for using these tools to attend online meetings.

Follow these tips to avoid making mistakes with the live camera and microphone used to attend these online meetings.

1) Dress appropriately for the occasion.

Your co-workers and colleagues may not appreciate seeing you in pyjamas just because you are working from home.

2) Choose a neutral background.

In particular, avoid ALL unnecessary motion in the background, such as busy hallways, billowing flags, windy scenery and tree branches, moving curtains, and rotating ceiling fans! They introduce visual noise, and put extra strain on your computer connection. Don’t move about unnecessarily either!

3) Plug your computer directly into the router.

Instead of using the WiFi connection, plug your computer directly into your router to improve the connection reliability.

4) Beware of reflective surfaces.

Ensure that mirrors and reflective surfaces behind you are well positioned to avoid betraying your surroundings and your state of undress!

5) Mute the microphone.

Until it is your turn to speak, please mute the microphone. This reduces distracting sounds from affecting your meeting, especially if you are in a noisy location. It also helps maintain your privacy.

6) Deactivate the video feed.

Enable the video only when it is your time to speak. That way, background activity and occupants do not cause a distraction.

7) Be prepared.

A handy notepad allows you to remain engaged. A nearby glass of water will ensure that you remain hydrated. Headphones may help to keep sensitive conversations privatE.

With the passage of time, we should all become more effective at conducting and attending virtual meetings. Ideally, prepare a specific location where you sit to attend all your meetings. A more sophisticated option is to select a virtual background if your software allows it. Now is a good time to invest in some training and ICT tools to help you efficiently and professionally continue your work. Remember to smile!

Editor’s note: Dr Lyndell St Ville is an ICT Consultant with a background in environmental and resource science. His expertise includes systems analysis, planning, and capacity building. To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.

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