The pandemic gave rise to a new set of workplace behaviors and processes, including shifting to remote work. One of the ways businesses dealt with this new arrangement was by substituting face-to-face communication with the next best thing: video calling or video conferencing.
But not long after organizations implemented this solution, remote workers started experiencing Zoom fatigue, or the burnout, tiredness, and worry that comes with overusing virtual platforms of communication. No longer is video conferencing the novel solution that it once was; it has now become a source of anxiety for many employees.
Your team can avoid falling into the same trap by doing the following things that make video conference calls more relevant and enjoyable:
1. Strategically plan your agenda and attendees
Having someone sit through a video conference call that does not concern them can make them feel that their time is being wasted. That’s why it’s critical to invite only those who need to be present and that participants understand why they have been selected to attend.
When holding meetings to discuss budget plans for the whole company, for instance, it's best to conduct separate meetings for different teams to ensure discussions are focused and only relevant individuals are present. Oftentimes, managers worry about employees feeling left out or missing something, so they include everyone in meetings — even when those that don’t have to be there. Save people the trouble of attending long meetings by sending them a recap of the meeting’s minutes via email instead. This way, you can maximize your staff’s time by letting them focus on tasks that truly matter.
2. Fix technical issues beforehand
Dropped calls, choppy lines, and non-functioning mics are just some of the things that can hinder a conference call from being effective. Broken technology can cause the meeting to be longer than necessary, resulting in productivity dips and a frustrated team. Avoid this scenario by doing a test run of your technology at least several hours before your scheduled meeting. This gives you time to solve IT problems that may otherwise hinder you from having a hitch-free conference call.
3. Establish rules
Setting video conference call etiquette helps ensure the smooth flow of conversations. These rules must include the steps on how to cancel a meeting, the list of acceptable backgrounds during video calls, and the repercussions of joining in late, among other things. These agreements can also aid in avoiding or mitigating conflicts, for instance, by reminding participants that violating rules such as interrupting each other is not allowed.
4. Take specialized conversations elsewhere
If a topic that concerns only two people comes up during a video conference call with ten participants, schedule a discussion of that topic for later to avoid wasting other attendees' time. However, make sure to describe the matter concisely to the rest of the participants so that they don’t feel left out. This way, you can efficiently progress through the rest of your agenda.
5. Establish what was accomplished in the meeting
Conversations can meander during a conference call, and your staff may need to be reminded of the important things that transpired or were agreed upon during the meeting. To make sure that everyone is on the same page before the call ends, run down the list of things discussed in the meeting and the tasks to be done related to those resolutions.
This list will also be proof that you have accomplished something and that the meeting was truly necessary. Remember: if you’re only going to disseminate or cascade information that doesn’t need the opinion, approval, or scrutiny of your staff, it’s better to send an email instead of holding a video conference call.
Video conferencing has become — and will continue to be — a staple in a remote work setup. Your business needs a team of IT professionals who can ensure your technology works 100% of the time so that your video conferences are crystal clear, effective, and secure. Learn more about how your organization can benefit from a managed services provider like SpectrumWise by downloading our FREE eBook Eliminating technology pains in small businesses.