How Not to Look Ugly on a Webcam

I spend the majority of my time working from a remote location.  My primary office is my home.  It’s a basement room in Michigan, which means that it’s a bit dark and cold.  A few years ago, the team I worked with at the time was featured in Home Office Hustle to show the different ways we setup our home offices.  Here are a few tips and tools I use to make it productive when I’m doing video conferencing:

  1. Bright Colors.  I painted over all of the paneling with white paint and did one accent wall in a  bright green color to inspire me.
  2. Light.  I have five different light sources with varying degrees of affect in the room.  I use them for different settings.  Depending on the time of day, season, or activity I am doing, I adjust accordingly.  For video conferences, I have the light behind me turned off and a small lamp by my desk turned on to light my face.
  3. Webcam.  My primary computer is a 13″ Retina MacBook Air.  I have it connected to a 23″ Dell monitor (couldn’t bring myself to splurge for a Mac display).  On top of it is a Logitech webcam and a Blue Snowflake microphone.  Having this setup allows me to have a quality video and audio signal.  Sometimes if things are funky on the audio side with an echo, I plug in my Bose in-ear headphones.
  4. iGlasses
    iGlasses.  I just bought this plugin for doing video interviews on Skype.  It allows me to zoom and adjust the image quality for my webcam.  After using it for two weeks, I’m very pleased with the performance.
  5. Be Early.  Yeah.  Not even on time.  Be early.  This isn’t directly connected to the technical aspect, but it’s a freebie.  Remote workers usually need to work hard at connecting with the team that’s physically together more.  We need to make it easy to connect.  One way is to just be early.  Get the tech bugs worked out.  Be reliable and consistent.

Gear List

Additional Resource

Not-to-Look-Ugly2-750x520Check out this awesome article from ChurchMag on how you can get strategic with your video conferencing and virtual collaboration

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