Optimise your surroundings for online meetings

Optimise your surroundings for online meetings13 May 2024

In today’s digital age, online meetings have become a regular occurrence for many of us. Whether you're collaborating with colleagues, or catching up with overseas friends and family, the ability to connect virtually has never been more crucial.

Attending a virtual consult is very similar to an online meeting. But not everyone is used to working online. So we’ve prepared this quick guide, with tips from our telehealth doctors, to help you prepare your space for a seamless and effective online meeting experience.

Choose the right location
Find a quiet space away from distractions where you can focus and participate fully. A home office or study nook is the obvious choice but if you don’t already have a space dedicated to working at a computer then opt for a quiet room with natural light, minimal background noise, and privacy.

Check your lighting
Good lighting is essential for clear visibility and video quality during online meetings. Position yourself facing a natural light source, such as a window, to ensure even and flattering lighting. If natural light is limited (or you’re online at night), invest in a desk lamp or ring light to illuminate your face. An light shining towards you from behind the camera will help to minimise reflection, reduce shadows, and provide colour saturation.

Position your camera
The placement of your camera can significantly impact your presence and engagement during online meetings. Position your webcam at eye level to present a full head-and-shoulders view of yourself and maintain good posture and establish direct connection. To achieve this you might need to elevate your computer (especially if you’re using a laptop). Use a laptop stand or a pile of books to bring your computer up to the right level. Avoid angling the camera too low or too high, as it can create unflattering angles and distortions.

Mind your background
Your background serves as a backdrop for your online meetings and can convey a lot about your professionalism and attention to detail. Choose a background that is simple, neutral, and free from distractions. A home office with shelves or books behind you is nice but make sure you’ve cleared away any mess or dishes. Tidying up your environment not only improves aesthetics but also helps you feel more focused and prepared. If there’s a door in-frame, close it to give a sense of privacy.

Minimise distractions
Creating a distraction-free environment is essential for maintaining focus and productivity during online meetings. Silence notifications on your devices, close unnecessary tabs or applications, and inform household members or colleagues of your meeting schedule to minimise interruptions. Depending on the formality of the meeting, you might also consider what you’re wearing. Block coloured clothing will help maintain a professional appearance with minimal visual distraction.

Be aware of your body language
Just like when we meet in-person, a lot can be interpreted from body language. When seated, many of us will lean on the desk in front of us and lean slightly forward towards the camera. This helps us appear engaged. Avoid leaning back or slouching in your chair. Gesture with your hands to help visually communicate and reinforce your words.

Our online doctors are used to attending virtual consults with people in their homes, out on the street, or any number of varied environments. We’re adept at cutting through the noise supporting you on-the-spot wherever you are. The above tips are not required for an emergency consult; they’re simply suggestions to help you set the stage for success in any type of business or personal online meeting.