In the current situation, many people have been forced to work from home. That requires a very good internet connection, which sometimes can be a bit tricky to achieve at home. Good broadband is especially necessary when making conference calls with your bosses or colleagues, as it will make the whole experience easier and more professional. We have put a list of few basic tips that can make your calls and overall work from home a better experience.
- Firstly, use the best Internet connection you have available.
Online meetings should be planned (so you can ensure you’ve got good connection available) and made from places where you can use a fast and reliable internet connection. Try to avoid public WiFi in areas such as coffee shops and public spaces.
If connection is poor, don’t assume it is your Internet connectivity – it could just be you have poor WiFi signal from your location. Try moving closer to your router or use a cabled connection from your laptop to the router.
- Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.
Turning off your microphone might make the experience a bit more pleasant, especially if you or your colleagues have some background noises like barking dogs, or kids playing. This also means your online call app will take more attention to the audio you’re receiving rather than what noises are coming from your end.
- Use your camera only when really necessary.
Using your camera when not needed can take up a lot of your internet connection, so when you don’t need it, turn it off. This way the calls should be smoother and less likely to drop. Also, some applications give you option of HD camera quality, turning that option off will have a good impact on the quality of the call.
- Close applications on your computer that you’re not using whilst on the call
Some devices (especially older) might struggle to prioritise the applications and run slower.
- Avoid other activities that will use large amounts of internet connection.
They may make your connection unsteady and worsen the quality as the application you’re using for the call will be ‘in battle’ to use internet with other things, examples include:
- large downloads
- large uploads
- streaming video (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
- cloud backups (e.g. Carbonite, CrashPlan)
- cloud file synchronizations (e.g. OneDrive, Dropbox)
- other high-bandwidth activities
Last thing to keep in mind when you have to use camera in your calls is the background – what is shown behind you. Making sure your background is kept tidy and appropriate will make a better impression on the rest of your team. Making sure there isn’t crying/shouting kids or barking dogs in the background will also show your boss or potential clients that you’re working efficiently, even though you’re at home and there’s nothing to distracting you.