Remote working invites a whole new set of challenges for any organization that has suddenly shifted from an office setting to at-home environments. We often take the proximity of our coworkers, access to office supplies, and convenience of a furnished workplace for granted. Now, staff are doing their best to make the transition from office to home. Fortunately, video applications including Zoom, Google Hangouts, WebEx and Skype have made it possible for remote workers to host collaborative, productive meetings and to reach out to coworkers when help is needed. If you’re slated to host or attend a virtual meeting soon, follow these tips to ensure it runs smoothly.
Set Up Necessary Applications Before Hand
While this is particularly important for the host of the meeting, it really applies to all in attendance. Ensure your computer can run the most updated version of the chosen virtual meeting application. Send an additional invite 24 hours beforehand to confirm that all attendees have installed the appropriate meeting app on their device.
Schedule a Test Call
For online meetings with large groups, schedule a test call at some point before the meeting so participants can practice logging in, enabling microphone and camera access, and can get a feel for how to application looks with others in attendance. This can be a five-minute session, and as the host, you can take the time to answer questions or help staff navigate the application.
Create an Agenda
In order for all guests to be on the same page, create and share an agenda beforehand. That way, everyone in attendance will have a framework for meeting topics and the conversation will flow much more easily. Staff can also prepare questions and concerns beforehand to ensure they are receiving the support they need as a remote employee.
Regardless of whether you’re the host or a participant, it’s important to arrive a little early. Signing on in the middle of welcome introductions or an icebreaker can be disruptive and distracting to everyone else. If participants are on a few minutes before the scheduled meeting time, then discussion can begin promptly without interruptions.
Mitigate External Noise
If your home office is shared with others, alert them to your virtual conference time so they can be as quiet as possible. Close the door and shut any open windows as external ambient noise may be amplified by your microphone. When not speaking, mute your own microphone so that others can focus.
Record the Conversation and Take Notes
As you would in any other meeting, pay attention and take notes. The flow of a virtual meeting can easily get thrown off because of the lack of in-person conversation cues. It’s hard to know when to talk without interrupting someone else about to speak. Record the video chat within the application so you can review it and take notes at a later date.
It can take a few attempts to acclimate to virtual meetings, but with a little forethought and pre-planning, they can be executed with minimal glitches. EON Office understands the ever-changing work environment and is ready to help your business succeed, even in this uncertain time. We provide premium, affordable office supplies and can deliver right to your home or office. Contact us today to learn more.