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Consider These Five AV Tips to Improve Your Work-from-Home Space

By John Doyle, CTS-D and Mo Fahim, EIT, FMP, CTPM, CSPO

The past few months have shined a spotlight on the pains of uniting a remote workforce in terms of communication, collaboration and effectiveness. While many of us have endured using lackluster technology to get the job done, some have taken this opportunity to improve the home-office environment.

The visual below depicts some of the improvements one should consider for the best possible work-from-home (WFH) AV environment:

  1. Lighting: Relying on your home-office lighting to provide sufficient light for video calls and presentations is a misfire. A good lighting system provides three points of lighting support for the presenter:
  • Key lighting
  • Fill lighting
  • Back lighting
  1. Audio and Video: Your integrated camera, speakers and microphone on your laptop are good in a pinch, but they cannot address all the potential issues such as:
  • Poor camera angles and video resolution (i.e. pointed at your nostrils/”eye of God” perspective rather than face-to-face perspective)
  • A screen surface large enough to work on multiple applications at once, giving you the ability to “see the whole picture”
  • Distorted, spectrally thin or distant audio
  • Residual echo
  • Rejection of background noise/distractions in the home
  1. Background: While your video-conferencing software may have built-in backgrounds or blurring capabilities, these tend to look fake and unprofessional. Using a green screen can help enhance the realism of these backgrounds.
  2. Acoustics: Most home offices are not designed with acoustics in mind and, frankly, bad acoustics can really hinder audio communications severely. A simple acoustic panel kit can improve a room dramatically, increasing intelligibility significantly.
  3. Ergonomics: Although not generally regarded as a technology item, working from home can be a tremendous strain on your physical health without the proper tools in place for an eight-hour workday. Outfitting your home office with a simple to use sit/stand desk modification can help curb trips to your doctor’s office while giving you a more pleasant environment to work in.

By improving your home office, you are equipped with a more suitable collaborative experience to work with your remote colleagues and clients. Furthermore, when you finally do return to the “real” office, you may find the experience less satisfactory than what you just built at home!

Not to fear: Many of these recommendations can be transferred to the workplace office as well. Let ESD’s technology consultants provide you with the expertise to make the right decisions when outfitting your WFH solutions and for when you finally return to the office. Reach out to Mo Fahim at mfahim@esdglobal.com or John Doyle at jdoyle@esdglobal.com to learn more.

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