As we are all preparing to do things differently for a while, I have been fielding many questions regarding just how to get things working well – for us and for our clients. Here is a summary of what I feel is good to know.
Working from Home
When we are in our homes, so many things are so different. The space, our muscle memory for where things are, maybe even how we feel about ourselves and our practice. I know that I feel much more “on the job” when I am in my office than at home, that’s why I have an office. I like the separation of work/life and I like the guaranteed privacy.
At home I am needing to crate a space that achieves as much of my professional comfort as possible. I have a room where I can close the door. I purchased a second sound machine so I have the same familiar ocean wave noise as I am accustomed in my office. I have a desk where my computer can be stable and at eye-level. I have a rolling desk chair so I can move about a bit. I have a jar with pens, pointers, finger puppets to use in the session. I have my files and my phone. I have a clock at eye-level so I can track the timing of the session.
The headset is so I am confident that my clients are being as protected as possible, nobody in the house could hear the client’s voice or what they are expressing. In working for just a short while with earbuds that have a mic, I found them to be very uncomfortable quite quickly, and the mic gets brushed and muffled often which becomes very irritating on the receiving end when you are doing work this way all day.
The conference microphone is a great option for groups, and that is how I have been using it so far. It drowns out background noise and amplifies my voice and it has a great range so if I move around, the client or group can still hear me clearly.
TIP: make sure the audio on your system is selecting the remote speaker/headset, not the built-in one. You can check that on the top bar of the screen, and then again make sure to select it within the preferences of the video conferencing platform that you use.
The Client’s Home
My colleague here, Nick Doolittle, created a lovely “get started” how-to page for clients on his website and offered to share it with everyone. I put it on my letterhead and have it available for clients, I can e-mail it prior to the session and they can get as ready as possible beforehand.
One thing to really stress with clients, trainees colleagues is that their video source (laptop/desktop/iPad/tablet/phone) be STABLE, i.e: stationary. Working with screen sessions now I find myself seasick by the end of the day sometimes.