Some of you love it, and some of you hate it, but the reality is that there will be a lot more working from home WFH video calls for in the immediate future. It certainly has become the norm, and some gadgets are going to make the whole experience better.
When we say WFH video calls, (Work from Home) we can equally talk about Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google meet, Google Duo, Cisco Webex, Goto meeting or even just a plain old telephone call. The basic premise is the same – you will be making a video or a voice call.
I am sure you already have the basics like a PC and a mobile phone but do you have a headset or a webcam.
A headset/mic will benefit you in three ways.
It will improve the audio quality at both ends
It will improve your productivity and mobility. Both your hands are now free, and with a Bluetooth headset, you can move around and answer calls remotely
You will reduce neck pain and have better ergonomics rather than cradling a phone in your neck.
When deciding on a headset, the key features you should consider are if you want a wired headset or a Bluetooth headset and comfort and durability. Our sister publication Small Business Answers has a full buying guide.
We recently compared wired vs Bluetooth headsets and made the following conclusions. Note that we did not compare like to like, and the brands listed are for demonstration purposes.
If you are working from home, want to improve your voice and video calls and potentially paying for the headset yourself, the cheaper corded headsets (Jabra Evolve 2 30 online we found these for $139) are a no brainer.
If you are on calls all day, you don’t want background noise disturbing those calls. USB cabled are the most reliable and the Poly P5 webcam and Blackwire 3325 headset/mic kit (reviewed here 9.3/10) is superb.
if you don’t want to be tied to a chair the extra money for the cordless Bluetooth (Poly Voyager Focus 2 Office online we found these for $380) is worth every cent. Especially if work is paying for them.
It is unlikely if you have a desktop, it came with a webcam, and a laptop will have one, but the camera’s quality is most often very poor. Further to this, the camera’s position generally facing up at your face is not doing you any favours.
Thus a webcam that can be elevated above you or at least at eye level and potentially positioned with brighter light behind, whether natural or manufactured, will make you look a lot better on a call.
Very simply, the more you pay, the better the camera will be, but unless you are making YouTube video’s you don’t have to spend a fortune. A buyers guide is available on our Small Business Answers site. A GadgetGuy review of a Logi Streamcam can be found here (seen online for $199).
If you are not using a headset or a webcam today, you don’t really know what you are missing. Once installed, you will find the dreaded WFH video calls just that little bit easier.