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The Best Gear for Remote Work

Having a solid remote-work setup means you’re always putting your best foot forward.

Gone are the days of working remotely from your kitchen table. As more companies permanently transition to remote-first workplaces, home office setups are getting major glow-ups.

Whether you’re hosting a town hall or regular team catch-ups, it’s important that you set a professional standard. This doesn’t mean you have to turn your home office into a Hollywood movie set, but you should certainly aim to look and sound your best. A more polished presentation helps your coworkers focus on what you’re saying – not the fact that your Airpods dropped again.

To help upgrade your setup, we’ve put together a list of the best technology and gear for your next virtual meeting.

For High-Quality Audio

There are a lot of key components to a successful virtual meeting, but having crisp and clear audio is a game-changer for remote working teams. If you’re going to make any change to your current gear, this is the one to make.

Whether your team is hopping on Venue for a company-wide sync or dialing in from their phones, they need to be able to hear what you’re sharing. Let’s just say your AMA likely won’t be quite as effective if no one can hear your answers.

The best way to combat audio woes? A quality microphone. A good microphone should work with any meeting platform and should be easy for you to use.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your microphone:

  • Connection: Depending on your computer, you may need a USB (or USB C) enabled mic. XLR connections are also common, but may not be directly compatible with your computer (XLR is a more pro-level standard – you might need some additional gear, like a pre-amp.)
  • Style: Depending on the type of calls you typically take, you can consider anything from a desk mic (like they use on podcasts) or a headset. Pick the style that is least likely to distract your audience and that’s most comfortable for you and your working style.
  • Polar pattern: This is the fancy term for how sensitive your mic is to sound coming in from different angles. Pick one that reduces background noise – no one needs to hear the sound of your laundry or dishwasher running in the background!
  • Accessories: Depending on the mic you choose, you may want a boom arm to make sure it’s positioned correctly, or a pop filter to smooth out your audio.

For High-Quality Video

Most built-in webcams are “fine”, but if we’re being honest, they’re not great. Depending on your computer, some of them pick up random shadows and others are just plain blurry.

A standalone webcam is a convenient way to boost your video quality while also improving your A/V setup. When choosing a webcam, you should consider the following:

  • Lens angle and width: Good webcams tend to have wider angles (also called field of view, or FOV) to help you stay on camera.
  • Mount: Some cameras come with clips to mount directly onto your computer, others may stand alone. Depending on the camera, you may also need a tripod to mount it to the right height.
  • Autofocus: If the camera doesn’t have autofocus, you may find that your new ‘high-quality camera’ is making you blurry anytime you move, which might be challenging to use.

For Extremely High-Quality Video ✨

If you really want to look your best, consider getting a DSLR camera to double as a webcam. You don’t need one, but if you’re consistently leading presentations or pitching to clients, a DSLR or mirrorless camera can absolutely take your virtual meeting game to the next level. If you already have one, it can be as simple as installing software (provided by your camera’s manufacturer) and connecting it using standard USB cables.

The best part? You’ll be able to snap some stellar vacation photos the next time you take some PTO.

Ready to make your meetings more fun and interactive? Get started today.

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For Better Lighting

Ring lights aren’t just for influencers. The right lighting can make a huge difference in how you look on camera. Dim lighting, or your normal house lights, can leave you looking less than your best, and make your presentation less effective.

Good lighting doesn’t have to be complicated. An affordable light that sits on your desk can do the trick!

When picking a lighting setup, here are some things to consider:

  • Size: A light that’s too big will completely take over your workspace (and possibly blow out your camera’s color balance) and one that’s too small won’t necessarily do you justice.
  • Dimmable: Some days of the year are darker or brighter than others. A dimmable light guarantees you’ll be able to use it at any time.
  • Color: While you’re unlikely to need blue mood-lighting, having some color options can make your light more versatile for other virtual events
  • Power: Choose a light that you can easily charge or run power to in your workspace. No one wants to trip over a power cord in the middle of a call! Some ringlights can be powered over USB, right from your laptop.

For A Better Background

We all love our homes, but all your stuff in the background can be incredibly distracting. While there is that “blur background” filter, it doesn’t always do the trick. Consider what you can do to your backdrop to make your environment look more intentional (or just less busy) on calls.

If you have a dedicated workspace, you can create a permanent backdrop by sprucing up the space behind you. However, not everyone is able to do this. Some great options to improve your background include:

  • Green Screen: If you can’t adjust your background or you work in your living room, a green screen can make it easy to swap in a virtual background. Or at the bare minimum, block out the clutter.
  • Projector: If you’ve got an empty wall behind you, a projector is a great way to bring other environments into your space, or it can just help give your background a facelift. (Search ‘projector window’ on Youtube!)

The Right Setup Makes a Huge Difference

Introducing more technology into your workflow can have a bit of a learning curve, but the payoff is well worth it – having a solid setup can ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward. Good virtual presentation skills are more important than ever, and having the best gear can help get you there.

Recommended Reading

The Perfect Virtual Event for your Business

How To Create Effective Remote-First Policies

What is Employee Experience?