Man video conferencing at work from home desk with webcam

Personal video conferencing devices have gone from a ‘nice to have’ to ‘absolutely essential’ over the past few years, as COVID-19 sent workers racing to their home offices and everyone discovered that they really, really liked it there. This means there’s been huge growth in the adoption of video conferencing, compared to two years ago. And, no matter what some business owners and managers think about it, working from home isn’t about to go away (the genie is well and truly out of the bottle).

This means it’s vital to invest in high quality, reliable personal video conferencing devices to set your team up for success in this ‘work from anywhere’ world. If you’re one of the organisations worldwide who are planning to upgrade your digital tools, including video conferencing devices, we’re here to help.

Getting your video conferencing devices and platforms right can have a big impact on your business, especially with the rise of hybrid work. Poor sound and video quality can hurt productivity, sales and performance. It can also impact team morale, with poor quality equipment resulting in remote staff feeling less important than your onsite team.

This guide will help you to make the right choices, taking you through the features you should consider when upgrading your personal video conferencing equipment.

An open Macbook laptop sitting on a wooden desk

Laptop cameras vs professional cameras for personal video conferencing

OK, let’s address the elephant in the room. Most laptops come with built-in webcams these days, so maybe you’re thinking that’s enough? Here’s the deal: most laptop cameras are limited to 720p resolution. That means poor quality and grainy images compared to external cameras that typically support full 1080p resolution. To be frank, you probably have a better camera on your phone than your laptop!

When you choose to use an external professional grade camera for your hybrid work employees, you get:

  • 1080p resolution, producing sharper images – and this means you can clearly see facial expressions
  • Larger camera sensors and optics for more consistent image quality, especially in low-light conditions
  • Flexibility to adjust the camera position for a better angle – no more awkward double chins or propping laptops up on stacks of books so it can line up better with eyes
  • An integrated privacy shutter so you know exactly when you’re on camera or not (excellent peace of mind for when you’re working from home and people might be walking around in the background off-guard).

Student wearing computer headset

What personal video conferencing equipment should we look for?

There’s a few options you can choose from when assessing the best video conferencing equipment for your hybrid work office or call centre. The most common choices are:

    • External webcams: These are easy to connect to both laptops and external displays. Small and portable, they combine pro-grade video and a microphone that are perfect for hybrid workers that are alternating between the home and the office.
Poly P5 Personal Conference Camera
7% Off
RRP: $164
Now: $152 inc GST
Save: $12
  • MS Teams & Zoom Certified
  • Integrated Privacy Shutter
  • Spare USB Port for BT Dongle
  • Flexible Mounting Options
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    • USB video camera bars: All-in-one video camera bars are a clutter-free option, giving great video and audio in a sleek and streamlined form-factor. They connect to the top of your display with options for wide fields or even 360° field of view, making these a great choice for meeting rooms as well as individual users.
Bose Professional Videobar VB1
5% Off
RRP: $2200
Now: $2,079 inc GST
Save: $121
  • Teams Certified
  • Static or Dynamic Microphones
  • All-in-one with HDMI Display Link
  • Best in class audio from Bose Pro
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    • All-in-one displays: For dedicated offices or permanently remote workers, an all-in-one display combines pro-grade audio and video in a display monitor for easy connection to both PC and Mac machines.
Poly Studio P21 - Personal Meeting Display 21" 1080p DC
65% Off
RRP: $1140
Now: $396 inc GST
Save: $744
  • **Special Price, while stocks last**
  • 21" Personal Conferencing Display
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Auto-Framing and Acoustic Fence
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    • Integrated video and headset bundles: Set your team up for success with ‘guaranteed to work seamlessly together’ webcam and headset bundles to ensure top-notch video and audio – every single call.
Now: $553 inc GST
  • MS Teams Certified Devices
  • ANC + Charging Stand Included
  • Integrated Privacy Shutter
  • Flexible Mounting Options
Buy Now

Health care worker on computer with personal webcam mounted to the top of monitor

What video conferencing technology is most important for business?

When you’re choosing video technology for business, you need it to work: plain and simple. It’s so important to set your team up with the right tools to ensure they can be productive, rather than troubleshooting cameras and headsets that won’t play nice.

With the rise of remote work and client deals being done entirely remotely, the ability of video to foster personal connections can’t be underestimated either. That’s why equipping your team with enterprise-grade equipment can make such a difference.

When you choose pro-grade video conferencing equipment, rather than in-built laptop cameras and consumer solutions, you get:

  • High quality video, meaning clearer pictures and accurate colours, which creates a better experience for everyone
  • Better image sensors for a greater depth of field
  • Low-light compensation – great for home workers who might not have the same standard of lighting as in a traditional office
  • Automatic image framing to keep speakers in focus, even if shuffling or moving around the room
  • Built-in privacy shutters to make it easy to know when you are off camera (no accidental walking past your webcam at home in a ‘less than professional’ state of dress…)
  • Directional microphones to reduce background noise (hello, noisy neighbours and your renovation, plus your yappy dog) as well as nearby conversations (great for workers sharing a home workspace with other family members).

Female student looking at computer wearing a headset

What about a separate headset for video conferencing?

Most webcams come with a built-in microphone, but we still recommend a separate professional headset for most users. By using a professional headset, your team will be able to take advantage of noise-cancelling technology (again, great for distractions like barking dogs and other household members) as well as a range of call controls to stay focused and productive.

Supplying your team with professional headsets means they can move between workspaces and retain clear, uninterrupted audio quality. It’s especially important if you’re setting up a hybrid work call centre team, as unexpected background noises can create a disconnect for your customers and create a less-than-professional impression. They might even think that you’re running some kind of scam!

Check out our blog post on the best noise cancelling headsets for more info on what to look for in a headset to eliminate distractions while working at home or in the office. We also have a blog post on the best headsets for working from home that is a goldmine of information when shopping for a new headset for your home work set up.

For spaces where users wearing headsets isn’t appropriate, like a boardroom meeting with multiple participants, an all-in-one display or a video-bar with wide view or even 360° functionality is a great solution to ensure everyone’s voices are clearly picked up.

Desk with computer showing video conferencing meeting and headset on table

What’s the best video conferencing for your team’s personal workspaces?

Private workspace (home or office)

If your team has a dedicated personal space, either at home or in the office, this means privacy and background noise are less of a concern. Options with an open speaker, like the in-built options with a webcam, can often be enough to provide a professional video conferencing solution.

Shared workspace (home or office)

Many of your team will be working in shared spaces, whether that’s a desk at home with other people around, the office or a co-working space, or even working out-and-about at airports, cafes and hotels. These shared environments all have the potential for a lot of background noise, making options like pro-grade headsets with noise-cancelling and directional microphones an essential.

Cubicle or hot desk

Whether your team has a dedicated desk or spaces are shared based on who’s booked to come into the office that day, cubicles often have privacy limitations. Make it easy for your team to connect with easy-to-set-up external webcams and pro-grade headsets to help them retain focus despite background noise.

Boardroom meeting with wall mounted monitor displaying video conferencing meeting

Get the right equipment and the right set up with video conferencing services

The good news is that if you’re feeling overwhelmed about picking the right tools – and getting it all set up seamlessly – you don’t have to go it alone. From planning and selection, to installation and deployment, and right through to ongoing maintenance and support, there’s support and professionals to help you get it right.

Here's just a few scenarios where getting help can give you confidence that you’re setting your team up for video conferencing success.

Rolling out new video conferencing equipment

There’s no point in buying new video conferencing equipment if it’s not deployed and easy for your team to use. If you don’t have the right skills in-house, get a partner in to help your team get their devices set up and trained. This will help to get everyone on the same page, faster, and speed up the time to ROI from your investment.

Deploying a large number of video devices onsite

It’s a common story – a large number of devices to deploy and an already stretched IT team. If you want to get a deployment completed across your organization faster than your in-house resources can manage, get in a partner to streamline the installation. Think of how much time your IT team can save on unpacking, connecting and charging devices, and what that time saving could mean for your business?

Deploying a cloud-based service

Many video conferencing deployments means changing to a cloud-based service as well as the hardware upgrades. Get everyone up to speed with your chosen video conferencing software and accelerate getting devices connected so everyone has a great user experience.

Purchasing new video conferencing devices for hybrid workers

If your team is working across both the office and home, it’s important that they have a consistent experience no matter where they are, with the right support. An external partner can provide 24/7/365 support, including device replacement if necessary.

Video conferencing meeting room set up

Contact us for help setting up your video conferencing solutions

Are you ready to upgrade your team’s video conferencing tools and set them up for hybrid work success? Get in touch and we’ll help you to navigate the options based on your business needs.