As more and more employees are being forced to work from home, business leaders and managers are scrambling to coordinate their teams from a distance and virtually replicate the functionality of their workplace environment. Luckily for many of us, technology has stepped in to make that process a whole lot easier… especially when it comes to conducting company meetings. Virtual meetings / video conferences seem like the natural replacement for these gatherings. Some have found that if all participants are not on the same page, they can be a complete waste of time. But with some thought and proper planning, they can be VERY effective.
- Dress the part. Continue to present a professional image.
- Check your tech. Check your technology before the meeting, including picture and audio levels.
- Remove visual distractions. Check the background others are seeing. If necessary place a screen behind you to block out toys, family dishes, laundry, etc.
- Streamline your guestlist. Invite only the necessary people to the meeting.
- Be punctual. Start the meeting on time, finish on time.
- Be polite. Acknowledge and introduce each guest as they join the meeting.
- Focus on the call. This is not the time to be multi-tasking.
- Wait your turn. Try to not interrupt other speakers, and learn to signal when you want to speak.
- Remove noise distractions. Be aware of background noise and mute unless you are speaking.
- Project professionalism. Be aware of your non-verbal behaviour when the camera is on. Stay focused and look at the camera.
So what’s the bottom line? We need to learn to treat our virtual meetings like our person-to-person meetings – being respectful of one another's time, and projecting a professional image.
Let’s stay productive. We’re all in this together.
At WATMEC, we’re doing our part to help you manage through the COVID-19 crisis. Visit our homepage for our complimentary online learning opportunities.
Dale Wilcox is co-owner of WATMEC. Dale is a respected board member, former volunteer of the year, and inaugural Chair of the Canadian Society for Training and Development.