For weeks (okay, make that the past year), we have been publishing articles that e hope should help you in this “new normal” scenario where a lot of people still prefer to continue habits formed during the pandemic, one of which is working from home. And I am sure that if we are talking about working from home, one of these most frequented activities is conducting online video or voice meetings. The thing about online meetings is that since it is an essential part of remote work, people usually think that it is more of a necessary evil – that as long as the meeting gets finished, it is okay. Do we really have to improve on this process when what we practice during our online conferences are good enough? What if we get into a mess with trying too hard to improve this online conference process? That’s going to affect our interactions with our teammates, our colleagues, our clients, and the entire business in the long run.

But then, aren’t we also impeding the growth of our teams and companies if we don’t find ways to improve our most used processes such as video conferencing? Making sure that all team members are able to be great when attending online meetings is a huge opportunity to promote professionalism in our companies. So, why should we be satisfied with leniency and rest on our laurels when we can get better and conduct best practices and uplift the image of our companies?

Everybody needs to be heard!
Don’t you just hate it when two people in a virtual conference speak at the same time and they try to give the floor to the other person?
“Oh, sorry, you go ahead.”
(No, no, no, what I was about to say wasn’t that important. You go ahead.”
“No, it’s okay, you go ahead.”
“No, you go ahead.”
And this banter goes on for a few more seconds before somebody finally musters the courage to talk. How awkward, not to mention time-consuming. These unnecessary exchanges can take away a few seconds to minutes of precious meeting time. This needs to stop, and it can be done with a very simple solution: Have a moderator preside over each and every meeting!

Say hello to everyone by name as they log in. Not only is this a way to offer a warm welcome, but you also do this as a kind of Video and Mic check. Let your members know if you can or can’t see their video feed and or hear their sound. If you cannot hear or see them, troubleshoot with each individual.

Those participants seem to have a difficult time getting in the call.
Trouble connecting? That is a common problem when it comes to online meetings. Some of them claim to be kicked out of the meeting rooms because of poor internet connection. Some have lost the correct dial-in number or the access code they need to join the conference, and yet for some, out of the blue, in the middle of a video conference, their laptops log them out and suddenly ask for them to update their video or voice con software. True, these happen to the best of us, but one thing we can include in the invite would be a troubleshooting guide so that the participants who are still in the virtual meeting don’t get bothered by those kicked out when they ask for help.

The best solution to this recurring challenge in virtual meetings is to have a tested backup plan. As project manager, you should send out the details for the backup plan along with other relevant information and agendas for your meetings.

There will always be that absent member.
No matter how much of an expert you are in scheduling the meeting to the point that all participants are supposed to be available during that time, there will always be that one member who will be absent. Whether it be because they missed the invitation or there’s an emergency they need to attend to, the result is always that somebody will always miss the discussion. And there’s another simple solution to that: Record the meeting for those who missed it to view the recording later. For privacy purposes, you will need to ask permission from all participants that as the organizer, you will record the call. Otherwise, you may be in breach of security laws, as people in a recorded conversation or video need to give their consent that they are being recorded.

Zoom lets you record calls whether you’re a free user or a paid user. However, if you’re a free user, you’ll only be able to save recordings to your computer. If you want to save recordings to the cloud, you’ll need to be on one of the company’s paid offerings.

What about if you experience persistent conference call issues?
Persistent issues when online conferencing may make you agitated and feel like you just want to give up. But just like the office set-up, your IT department will always be there. They may not be working in the same building as you, but a message to them should do the trick. It doesn’t mean that just because you’re working at home means that you should be dealing with things by your lonesome. Get the help you need. Not doing so may affect your mental state, and you wouldn’t want something as “minor” as persistent online conference issues to demotivate you.

If someone in your household had a medical crisis, you know to call a doctor, dial 911, or drive to the nearest emergency room, right? Don’t wait until you have a tech emergency to formulate a plan. If you’re employed by a company with an IT help desk but are operating remotely, keep the contact information for at least one IT colleague handy. (Hint: not on your computer.)

If you need help with other matters regarding your laptop, we can provide laptop data recovery. We are more than ready.