Communication is a vital part of any successful business, but there is no denying that the way employees converse with their colleagues, and indeed their customers or clients, has changed dramatically in the digital age.
Experts have always claimed that face-to-face communication remains the most effective when conducting business, but there has been a dramatic shift in how such conversations take place.
Video conferencing has allowed communication between certain parties to become easier than ever, bringing down borders and large distances.
But while there are clear benefits to video conferencing, there is also a very clear code of conduct for how it should be used.
While us Brits are often painted as a nation of people constantly adhering to unwritten rules around politeness, but being rude is an ugly trait that is universal to everyone.
Video conferencing might have changed the landscape of business communication, but it is not another dimension so do your best to ensure you don't come across as rude.
Typing while someone is talking for instance, will provide an annoying background noise that will risk distracting those on the other end, while it also gives the impression that you're not paying attention.
There are obviously times when you need to take notes, but in such cases experts believe it is best to hand write them.
If you absolutely have to use your keyboard, it's always good to hit the mute button.
Don't leave without telling anyone
A recent survey by market research firm Lab42 found that 24 per cent of respondents regarded leaving an on-screen meeting without saying anything was the worst possible thing they could do.
There are obviously always times when you need to duck out, so always let the other attendees know.
If you feel uncomfortable in interrupting and do have to slip away, send a private message to a fellow participant letting them know you will be back shortly.
Take control of your surroundings
While video conferencing enables workers to communication from any location, it is important not to take it too far.
For instance, if you're trying to seal a large contract with a potential client, it's not going to look very professional if you state your case in a dark and dingy bedroom.
A completely blank background isn't always a must, but if your environment is too loud or messy it will risk leaving a negative impression.
Get rid of technical difficulties
Another problem that can give off a negative impression is not having the right technology for dealing with the demands of video conferencing.
Poor picture quality, along with fractured sound, can be hugely frustrating and will make your set up look inept.
If dealing with a new colleague, client or customer, it may cause them to question whether you and your company are up to the task at hand.
Always run trial conferences before any important meeting to ensure your system is up to the task.
If you decide you need to update your hardware, Arrow has a number of suitable video conferencing solutions that will suit the needs of you and your business.