Virtual meetings, Video Conferences - Dos and Don’ts
P.Is and ‘Work from Home’ for fresher’s
Enterprises worldwide are coming to terms with the Corona Virus outbreak and the disruption followed in all walks of life. The World Health Organistion, (WHO) mentioned, “Alarming level of severity and alarming level of inaction” before declaring the status as ‘pandemic’. Travel and Work adversaries started flowing in from organisations and government authorities.
Social distancing is the norm overnight
Global MNCs Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Spotify to local business house, everyone is grappling with business continuity challenges with no or minimal physical presence of employees in offices. Mandatory work-from-home policies have been rolled out to avoid further spreading of the Covid-19 virus.
Academic Institutes have cancelled all events. According to poll, 81% students were in favour of a remote Personal Interviews (PI), given an option during this MBA / Engineering & other admission sessions.
Business is being conducted through phone calls and video conferences.
Many of you will be in this situation for the first time. Time to Un-learn & Re-learn.
The TikTok generation definitely is not camera shy but here we are not talking of making a video with snappy music back ground. It is far more serious. It is about career and profession. And off course – Health and Safety comes first.
Dos and Don’ts for virtual meetings – telephone & video conferences
• Find a right place with desk/table - chair with adequate light. (Not lying in the bed with your laptop in front.) Camera should be facing you from chest upwards ideally. As the person at the other end would have faced you if you were across the table.
• Ensure that network strength is good enough at that location.
• Proper internet connectivity - 11 Mbps bandwidth should be good to go.
• Power backup in case of power failure. Charge laptop / WiFi modem / mobile phone adequately.
• Generally tools used for VCs are - Web-E, Skype, WhatsApp, Duo by Google or Zoom for virtual meetings.
• Please ensure that you have installed Web- Ex/Zoom/Skype ahead of meeting. Run a trial. Keep your log in your name instead of some fancy name.
• Note – You may find these tools running slow now with many users trying to use simultaneously. WebEx have already reported a surge
• Be ready with earplugs for phone/laptop/desktop for Web-Ex meetings. Keep note pad and pen handy.
• Ensure that there is no noise around. Lock the door if required and Inform family or friends (in case you are in campus) that there should be no disturbances or interruptions or any distractions in the surrounding.
• Make yourself ready. Try a dry run with a friend or family member, check audio and video.
All Set? How to go
Now, remember virtual working environment need additional efforts to communicate as there are many non-verbal communications which takes place during physical meetings do not happen in virtual set up.
• Make sure you are visible as “Available” or “Online” before the video conference start. Join the conference or online meeting on time – don’t make others wait.
• Speak clearly, slowly and be extra expressive. Consider the lag time (if any).
• Don’t talk over each other. Wait for the person at the other end to complete before you start. Pay extra attention always.
• If you feel there may be any faint sound present at your end, make yourself mute when you are not speaking.
• Make notes and clear your doubts and queries when your turn comes. Do not block others or the person talking to you.
• Remember, your response in-between blocks the other person quick, even if short, response unblocks others and should be taken on priority.
• Try to maintain the same level of communication effectiveness as in-person meeting.
• Seek feedback to ensure that your point is well understood.
Dress professionally and act professionally the way you would have done in physical meeting. Remember it’s not that difficult you are not alone facing the challenges. It is same for the people at the other end.
Feel free to write to us for any queries on this topic you may have. We shall respond to all. firstname.lastname@example.org