Category: Tips & Techniques

VSee Tip #4 – Setting Your Status

Your VSee status tells other people how available you are for a video chat. VSee has four possible status indicators:

VSee status presence

  • green with white clock hands – Online but inactive at least 5 min.
  • green – Available
  • red – In a call
  • white – Offline or invisible

You can purposely change your status by clicking on your login name and selecting the status you want.

*Note: People can still call you even if you are busy or invisible!

vsee status menu

Currently, VSee has no way to set a custom message.


VSee Tip #2 – Audio Only Mode

VSee mute video

It’s easy to “mute” your VSee video for an audio-only conference.  Open your self-view video window and click on the webcam icon on the bottom left of your the window. If you mute the window during a call, the “muted” video setting will be saved for the next time you make a call.

Some reasons you may not want to show your video:

  • poor network connectivity – turning off your video reduces the bandwidth used in a call
  • privacy – you need to grab something from the next room and don’t want any virtual snooping happening while you’re gone
  • unforeseen issues – a giant bug is crawling over your webcam (btw, this really happened to me during a video call) or maybe you’re just having a really bad hair day.

VSee Tip #1 – Shortcuts for Arranging Your Video Windows

VSee video chat window shortcuts

Unlike most video conference services, VSee gives you tons of control over how you want to display your video windows. Click on the icon with the four tiles in the top right corner of your video window for the “Arrange Video Windows” menu (pictured above).  Better yet, try these easy shortcuts to quickly arrange your windows just the way you want.

Make video windows bigger and smaller

  • CTRL + plus key (+)  to make video bigger
  • CTRL + minus key (-)  to make video smaller

Line up video windows along one side of your screen

  • CTRL + [Arrow Keys] in the direction you want the windows to align
    • CTRL + ←   to tile left
    • CTRL + ↑   to tile top
    • CTRL + →   to tile right
    • CTRL + ↓   to tile bottom

Any window adjustments you make are automatically saved for your next call.

Save a video windows layout

You can also save a particular window order or window layout that you like to use, such as for recurring meetings. Please note that the saved layout will only apply to calls with the same number of callers as the original saved layout. Here is a quick video tutorial on how the save a video windows layout.

*Mac users should substitute CMD (⌘) key in place of CTRL, like this:

  • CMD(⌘) + plus key (+) to make video bigger
  • CMD(⌘) + minus key (-) to make video smaller
  • etc., etc.

More tips


VSee Tip #3 – What Do the Colored Bars on a Caller’s Window Mean?

VSee tutorial - network barsThe bars on the bottom right of a caller’s video window show you the strength of the network or connection between you and the caller.

  • Green (strong) – great audio and video
  • Yellow  (medium) – possibility of some audio and video interruptions
  • Red  (weak) – likely to have audio and video interruptions

If you have a weak connection and your call keeps breaking up, you can try one of the following to improve the call:

  • Lower the screen resolution – Go to the bottom right of your video window, click gear icon –> video settings –> resolution
  • Decrease the frame rate – Go to the bottom right of your video window, click gear icon –> video settings –> frame rate
  • Completely mute your video – Go to the bottom left of your video window, click the video camera icon

VSee tips video settings menu

If you need more help, contact customer support or sign up for a live VSee webinar help session.

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An Open Letter to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in Response to the “No Working From Home” Memo

Dear Marissa,

At Heidy Maldonado’s wedding 10 years ago at the Stanford Memorial Church, I shared with you my dream of creating a simple tool that lets people work remotely with the same productivity of physically being together.

I am now the CEO of VSee – a video chat and screen share tool for creative teams to get things done. Our team of 30 people is spread around the world in 10 cities, with half in the SF Bay Area. Our local team comes in to work 1 day a week – to socialize, get a free lunch, and just to have fun. We’re our own lab rats to help us understand why remote work doesn’t work.

In the beginning, we suffered the same productivity issues cited by your head of HR Jackie Reses. We have overcome those productivity issues with these 3 Golden Rules of Remote Work:

1. Have a 50 – 80% work time overlap with your remote teammates.

Your teammate must be able to reach you for a quick decision as fast as if you are sitting next to each other. If a teammate can never be quickly reached, then let them go, since you will have productivity loss.

2. Don’t make decisions over email.

Teach your teammates when NOT to use email. Despite IM and social network, email is still the default method of corporate communication and it becomes easy to slip into making decisions via email – this is when you start getting CC’d email ping pongs that go back and forth for weeks. The text medium hampers our brain’s decision-making processes which is better handled by visual cortex.

3. Use the right tool for creative teamwork.

Although Webex is a great presentation tool, it requires too many mouse clicks when doing work, such as critiquing a design or hacking out some code. Skype is a great communication tool, Google+ Hangouts is a great hanging out tool, but neither are designed for teamwork. Creative teamwork requires seeing faces AND being able to share any application with a single click. Every extra click needed adds to collaboration friction that will slow down your team decisions.

Today, VSee serves 8000 enterprises from IBM and Navy SEALs to high energy startups. If Yahoo! follows these 3 Golden Rules – you will get the productivity you desire.

Why not hire VSee to be Yahoo’s remote work coach?  We can help structure your remote work processes from doing a design critique, to pair programming, to managing your remote teams. By June, you will find that your remote employees are actually more productive than your in-office employees!


P.S. As Richard Branson pointed out in his response to your memo, the world is becoming more connected. i.e. even if you go to work, your coworkers and customers will be in another location anyway.

Links to the “No more working from home” memo and some reasoning behind the new ban