Making Teleconferencing Fun (and Effective) While Working from Home
As more of the country stays home to stay healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the workforce is also shifting to a work-from-home lifestyle — a new reality for many of us.
For those of you fortunate enough to keep your jobs and be able to perform them remotely, the change comes with some hurdles as well, not least of which involves navigating spouses, children, pets, and other distractions.
While we are no strangers to teleconferencing tools, the home environment puts a new spin on voice and video calls. Here are some tips from our staff to make the most of teleconferencing while working from home so you can stay productive and sane.
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8 Teleconferencing Tips
Invest in a Quality Tool
Now more than ever, video clarity and voice quality are critical to productivity. You probably already have a reliable teleconferencing system, but if you don’t or you need an upgrade, consider these tools: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, UberConference, among many others.
Replicate Your Regular Meetings
Do your best to keep your regular team meetings as scheduled to provide a sense of normalcy and maintain the cadence that works for your business. Give everyone a sense of leadership and a voice by asking a different team member to lead each meeting and providing a chance for everyone to update the team on their projects.
Decide what you can handle via email versus teleconference. Our days can quickly get away from us if we’re on back-to-back-to-back conference calls. Creating and sticking to strict call agendas will also help to keep everyone on track.
Use Teleconferencing to Socialize
You might be feeling the effects of social isolation, especially if this is your first time working outside of the office. Consider scheduling a weekly team meeting just to socialize and catch up – no work talk allowed.
Have you ever felt that there’s one (or seven) too many people on a conference call? You can’t get a word in when you need to, and the lag time makes it impossible to have productive conversations. This video will probably hit home for you. Limiting attendance to essential employees can boost call productivity.
Give a Heads Up
Precede a conference call with an email so everyone can come prepared. This is especially helpful for brainstorming sessions so each person can contribute. If you are time-constrained, emailing an agenda ahead of time can help keep everyone on task.
Keep It Fun
Ask a different person to start each team meeting with a new ice breaker activity or a funny video. This will help to wake people up and get them engaged before you dive into work.
Happy Hour, Anyone?
Did your team have a particularly long or stressful week? Host a virtual happy hour! Decompressing together while working remotely will provide a major boost to team morale.
Remember to cut your employees and coworkers some slack during this time. Not everyone has a dedicated home office. Kids will scream and dogs will bark. Encourage your team to limit distractions to the best of their ability but remember that everyone is doing their best.
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