You are in the middle of a video conference at home when suddenly, your playful toddler decides to join the party, grinning from ear to ear and cooing happily. In some instances, it is your furry buddies jumping on your lap and barking or meowing to attract your attention. And before you can apologize for the inconvenience, the ” intruder” has entangled your headphones or knocked down the device. Embarrassing, right?
Working from home has ushered in challenges that people never thought much about. Unlike in the past when work and private life had boundaries that were clearly defined, this pandemic has blurred the lines. It has ushered us into the murky world of half-dressed spouses caught off-guard during video calls, or the camera panning out to expose messy rooms. Today, the phrase “caught-on-camera without pants”, is a reality.
When such mishap happens, you are torn between terminating the call to deal with the fallout or continuing with the conference hoping that your new companion does not do anything to embarrass you further.
These scenarios and many more are the emerging challenges of work-from-home arrangements and they are plunging us into unforeseen tech mishaps that we have to learn to deal with on the go.
So, what do you do about those embarrassing moments, and are there any measures you can take to prevent these mishaps from occurring or recurring?
Taking time to prepare, and setting up your space for phone calls and video conferences, can go a long way in eliminating or at least reducing the possibility of tech mishaps. If you have a spacious home, designate your working space, and let everybody living with you know that it’s a sacred place. On the other hand, if you share the working space with other people, let them know when you intend to have virtual meetings so that they can behave professionally.
To avoid on-camera mishaps, frame your shot in such a way that while you will be visible to your colleagues, the camera will not capture anything undesirable in the background. In addition, since video calling apps come with virtual backgrounds, you can opt to utilize those features if your living space is not tidy. You should also position yourself and the camera in such a way that no one is likely to pass behind you.
Ultimately, since interruptions, while working from home are inevitable (it’s almost impossible to stop Frosty barking from the kitchen or your kid bursting into the room to show you his latest toy), you can always decide to excuse yourself from the meeting and rejoin later. Alternatively, you can just continue with the call as if nothing happened.