Let’s face it—we’re all sympathetic to your situation, Cat Lawyer. Amused, but sympathetic.
WFH is hard. It’s tiring attempting to convince fellow Zoom-mates that you are indeed “not a cat,” even though your video filter is telling a different story. Integrated features like a cuddly cat filter (or even a potato filter) seem to have a mind of their own, affecting poor, unsuspecting work-from-home-ies everywhere.
That said, a little tech education can go a long way, and just because we feel for Rod the Cat Lawyer doesn’t mean we have to suffer the same embarrassment. Learning more about your WFH tools and how to optimize them can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your Zoom calls whisker-free.
Here are 5 invaluable tech tips that will help you avoid future work-from-home fails and keep your proverbial mug off of a literal mug (because yes, you can purchase Cat Lawyer merch):
1. Update your Zoom video settings.
One way to make sure you don’t enter an important executive meeting looking like a potato is to update your Zoom video settings.
For example, the “Studio Effects” menu under “Backgrounds and Filters” will allow you to add a lip color, change your eyebrow shape, or even try on a beard. If you do decide to try one of these Studio Effects as a funny joke amongst co-workers, make sure to uncheck the “Apply to all future meetings” box at the top.
Instead of using filters—as hilarious as they are—there are actually some professional ways to enhance your appearance. In your Zoom video settings, you can adjust for low light, touch up your appearance to the desired level, and automatically get a video preview before each meeting just to double-check that you’ve removed any pesky (and furry) filters.
2. Get rid of Snap Camera filters for meetings.
If you’re using Snap Camera filters, you can ensure these filters don’t accidentally show up during an important meeting by quitting the program from your video app, be it Zoom, Skype, or Teams. Here are a few quick and easy ways to close Snap Camera filters and prevent them from affecting future meetings:
- Press Command + Q to use the “quit” keyboard shortcut
- Select Snap Camera > Quit Snap Camera from the menu bar at the top of your screen
- Select Snap Camera in the Dock, then right-click and select “Quit”
3. Update your Zoom audio settings, too.
It’s not just the visual settings in Zoom that can make for an embarrassing encounter during your Internet calls. One accidental unmute could lead to utter humiliation—no one wants to hear you singing “In the Air Tonight” during a KPI report, Phil!
Here are a couple of ways to update your settings and mitigate your risk of an audio fail:
- Check the “Auto” bubble for suppressing background noise when you are unmuted.
- Check the “Mute my mic when joining a meeting” box to make sure no unintended noise can be heard as you join.
- Check the “Press and hold ‘Space Key’ to temporarily unmute” box for easier control over your unmuting. Using the spacebar to unmute will prevent you from accidentally forgetting to re-mute yourself after talking.
- Check the “Sync buttons on headset” box to control your audio using a headset device.
4. Ditch the shoddy Internet connection.
While cutting out constantly during a video meeting may not be as ridiculous as showing up as a cat, it is still unprofessional. It’s important that your clients and stakeholders can easily communicate with you on calls without you dropping off unexpectedly.
If you’re having problems connecting to or staying connected on calls, run a speed test. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 10 mbps of download speed and at least 1 mbps of upload speed per person working from home. If your Internet is performing below that, it’s time for an upgrade.
5. Keep your Zoom calls secure.
To avoid even more serious Zoom mistakes—like letting strangers enter your calls—make sure you’re following Zoom’s best practices for securing your calls. This includes turning on your waiting room, requiring a password to join each meeting, and locking your meeting once all your attendees are present.
You can also take more control over your meetings and avoid mishaps by muting participants, disabling the private chat feature, and controlling who is allowed to screen share.
While some of us may not have reached Cat Lawyer status when it comes to Zoom debacles, there are plenty of technological challenges that come with working from home. These tips can keep even the least tech-savvy of us working productively and professionally from home.
For more information on how you can more efficiently integrate video platforms into your workplace, contact our experts at Stasmayer for a meeting today.