Conference calls were already a huge part of the world of work pre-covid. Since the pandemic, communication systems have been the lifeline for the vast majority of organisations all over the world. Whether you use conference calling or virtual meetings via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, communicating with newly remote teams is vital for the survival of businesses across all sectors. If you’re struggling to adapt and relying on one-to-one communications via email or phone calls, now is the time to level-up and embrace conference calling – with or without video.
Your new meeting place
In recent months, the virtual conference room has replaced the physical. Without the ability to meet in shared spaces, we have had to use conferencing technology to stay connected. The importance of these virtual meetings is clear at a time when many organisations are in crisis mode, looking to protect business and livelihoods at the same time. Getting your communication systems up and running is the first step towards adapting to the change in circumstances for the better.
In a physical workplace, colleagues can easily keep an eye on each other and check in spontaneously during the day. This is impossible during lockdown and isolation. Virtual meetings and conference calls may well be the only social interactions for employees and clients in a single day. Whilst they should of course focus on important matters, they should also be used to maintain and build positive energy within a team, developing the kind of resilience that is needed to navigate the difficult months and years ahead.
Change of scene
Working from home can be difficult at the best of times. But with limitations on movement and other members of one’s household also at home, it can be a challenge to keep things focused. Virtual meetings are a great way to engage a workforce and give them a window back into the routines of normal working life. To take things a step further, why not try using virtual backgrounds with Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype. Companies like Hello Backgrounds have produced ranges of backgrounds for zoom meetings.
Handling remote teams can be difficult if some people start to take a back seat, letting the natural leaders take on the bulk of the work. Conference calls are an easy way to keep everybody engaged by asking direct questions to certain individuals. In virtual meetings, breakout rooms can be used for groups to split off and discuss particular topics in further detail before reporting back to the rest of the team. Another top tip for increasing engagement and accountability using these communication systems is to record your sessions. These will not only provide useful archives for your meetings which can be shared with anybody who wasn’t able to attend, but also increase engagement and therefore overall productivity.
Reaching new contacts
Virtual meetings don’t have to be only internal. Innovate your outward-facing profile by setting up webinars or virtual conferences to engage new audiences, customers and clients. The tools at our disposal should be used to innovate and create meaningful change. Experiment, try something new and use the technology to your best advantage.