My name is Eleanor, I am a Digital Student Intern at Edge Hill University and within this post I will share some of the things which I do to boost my confidence in video meetings and help me to work well at home online! Grab yourself a cup of tea and your favourite snack and read on…
Get showered, do your hair, put your face on!
Working at home is great, no need to sit on public transport to get to the office, no small talk with strangers or squeezing into a tight suit on a hot day! Comfort is key, so choose something comfortable to wear for your workday- after all, the camera only picks up your top half, right? Absolutely, although physical preparation to snap yourself into a productive headspace is important too. Much as we all love them, pyjamas are not designed to wear at the office and getting dressed for the day is a brilliant way to throw yourself into a great headspace! Set an alarm to wake you up with enough time to have a shower, wash your face, tame the bed-hair and put your success face on!
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… But ensuring you schedule yourself time for lunch, maybe a snack and drinking water are also just as important! No-one can thrive on an empty stomach, and to perform at your very best it is so important to look after your body too- a race-car wouldn’t win the Grand Prix with an empty fuel tank!
A good background keeps the focus on you!
Let’s keep you in the spotlight! Working online means colleagues, clients and anyone else within your meetings only see a tiny version of you in a box on their computer screen- this box must portray the best you! You have got your face of success ready to go, keeping your background plain and discreet keeps distractions from you at bay. Using a plain wall, bookcase or even blurring your background using your video software is a great way to achieve this and allows you to be the star of the show!
Sit up straight and you’ll do great!
Working at a desk or table can help with feeling confident on video calls too! As far as I am aware, most companies don’t hold meetings on sofas- just sitting up at an organised desk with all your resources in front of you and in a supportive chair is another trick to keep you in that workplace mindset. Not only this but sitting at a desk or table also enhances communication skills as it replicates being in an in-person environment where body language and posture is important!
Fancy a cuppa?
Having a drink (whether it be a cup of tea, coffee, water or a soft drink) beside me whilst on video calls is an absolute must-have! Whether it is to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the workday, something to sip on whilst listening to others, or something to clear your throat whilst you are presenting, always keep a beverage to hand. Additionally, taking a break from your laptop screen is so important to aid concentration and avoid headaches/sore eyes, something which making yourself a quick drink provides the perfect solution for!
Working hours only!
Working online from home comes with its challenges, particularly as the lines can become blurred between work and relaxation! Having a space away from work and meetings is important, try to avoid working on your bed or in your ‘relaxing’ or social space where possible. Not only will this enhance productivity, motivation and concentration when working, but your time away from work becomes as separate from your work life as possible! No need for worrying about work when you should be watching a film, spending time with family and friends, or going to sleep!
A quiet space for hearing yourself think!
One of the best ways for me to get myself into the zone and perform at my best within video calls and at work online is to work in a quiet space, away from distractions. Whether this be in a private room with the door closed, outside on a sunny day, or in a part of the house away from the centre of the hustle and bustle of everyday, having the space to think, concentrate and contribute without being interrupted is imperative!
Calm the nerves off camera…
Use the shoulder-only view of video calls to your advantage! Keep something to fiddle with out of the camera view, such as a pen or a fidget toy to calm your nerves off the lens! For me, this helps my concentration and increases confidence and focus whilst working online at home, as well as aiding clear and coherent delivery of contributions to meetings!
Preparation is key!
Scheduling, to-do lists and keeping a detailed calendar are crucial to working successfully at home- a paper calendar is great, although the Microsoft Teams calendar is fantastic at keeping all your meetings, appointments, and deadlines in one place too! Additionally, taking a couple of minutes to breathe, look over agendas and prepare yourself before video calls is a great way to feel confident and assured before you start- you’ve got this!
A pen and paper never go out of fashion!
Having a notepad and pen to hand whilst on video calls and meetings is a great way to quickly note down thoughts and ideas which you may have. Handwriting ideas down can also be beneficial to refer back to, or write up on your computer to revise them, develop them, and make them more coherent afterwards! Our brains are wonderous things which (given a little care, focus and love) provide the opportunity for excellence!
I hope that these 10 Top Tips for thriving in your online job help to boost your confidence within your work and online meetings… Most importantly though, remember that the key to success is YOU! Be kind to yourself, prepare yourself and push yourself- the world is your oyster!
By Eleanor Rowell (Student Intern)