How to Set Up a Home Video Conference Room
If you spend a lot of time working and networking from home, chances are that you need to make important calls from a lot. And perhaps you are satisfied with the way that you present yourself when it comes to video conferencing, but there can always be some room for changes and improvements. Here is a general guide to help you design the video conference ready home office of your dreams, with enough flexibility to fit many budgets.
First of all, you’re going to want to consider the actual construction of your room. One of the more important things to consider when conference calling from the home is having a room as free of noise pollution as possible. Noise pollution is what happens when ambient sounds distort the quality of the clip or call. Ambient noise, such as home appliances or traffic outside, is extremely difficult to avoid and even more so when in an apartment. However, by applying some soundproofing practices you can help to muffle some of the outside noises. This guide from WikiHow offers multiple solutions to soundproofing, but if choosing to affix noise reducing panels you might consider leaving one wall blank. This will be your background wall, or what sits behind you when calling, and we will discuss this more in depth later. While you are working out what room to set up as an office, you should also consider lighting. Multiple sources of steady light are ideal. Avoid one spotlight that may cast unflattering shadows by being too bright or too dim.], and consider having some gooseneck or floor lamps on hand for extra boosts especially if using unpredictable but universally flattering natural light from a window.
Having the right hardware and software is another, if not the most important of successful business calls from home. Most set ups will need a computer, plus a camera and a microphone of some kind, and a program to run it. You can go as cheap or as expensive with these materials as you like, as many laptops will come with microphones and web cameras built in, but if you find yourself looking for a more professional set up the options for video conferencing equipment can be staggering. A good example of some of the higher end recording set ups are the kinds used by the increasingly popular YouTube and Twitch streaming community. For some of these people, making videos on their computers or recording themselves creating content is their main source of income. While topics can range from make-up tutorials to film reviews to creating weapons, many of these are self-taught, self-employed, and willing to share their set ups. Here is a walkthrough from YouTube of someone talking about the gear he uses for his channel, and while your needs may vary he both demonstrates and explains all of his hardware for recording. However, don’t neglect the software aspect either. Look for a program, such as BlueJeans, that works with different video conferencing equipment as the hardware on the other end will vary wildly between clients or call members. This goes doubly so for a business that works on a global scale, and that needs to be able to connect to mobile devices as well as state of the art conference call rooms.
Last of all, because this is your home office you should spend some time to think about how you would like to design it visually. Since it will often serve as the background of your calls, and thus an extension of yourself and your business, any part of the office that will be seen on camera should be clean and professional. This doesn’t mean devoid of personality, however. It simply means that you should minimize distractions and avoid having any questionable or statement-making images behind you. A plain, light colored wall is a good background as it keeps the focus on you, but if your heart is set on something like a potted plant or a framed art piece that should work too. In general, keeping a neat office space is a good way to increase productivity by lowering the amount of distracting clutter. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out a guide like this one from HGTV, but remember to aim for a good balance between appearance and practicality.
In conclusion, your specific needs and tastes may vary, but these three points are staples to consider when designing a home office and outfitting it with video conferencing equipment. If you only do occasional business calls from home, you will likely find a nice laptop and a quiet room will be all that you need. But if you want to take your conferencing and home office to the next level, this list should be a great starting point for you to design the room of your business dreams.