Given the recent developments with the coronavirus globally, many organizations are either requiring or encouraging their employees to work from home. Travel is being restricted and events are being cancelled, but business still needs to be conducted. It is too early to determine how long this will play out, but we at Jamesbeck want our clients and their employees to be properly prepared for doing their jobs remotely and seamlessly. We are excited to announce that we are teaming up with an exceptional communication firm, GK Training (www.gktraining.com), to offer you invaluable training and guidelines in the areas of working from home, teleconferencing and video conferencing. We hope that you find this information useful and we will pass along any additional tips we receive. We know these are challenging and changing times and we are here to help.
Feel free to use and share these as you see fit. We’ll keep them bite-sized and quick. Here’s three to consider:
- Warm up! The first call of the day sets the tone for the 9 to 10:30 work window – often the most productive time of the day. If everyone has “frogs in their throats” for the first call, it’s not ideal. If useful, feel free to share this GK resource. Here’s a link to videos with guided physical and vocal warm-ups as well as a link to download a PDF of our recommended tongue twisters: https://gktraining.com/resources/. These are open to anyone and don’t require an email or password to log in. We recommend doing at least one every morning before first calls.
- Set exceedingly clear expectations and parameters, even for portions of conversations within a call. Everyone knows the importance of setting a clear agenda at the beginning of the call, but even within the call itself consider using language like “I’d like to spend the next three mins on any questions about next steps.” Choose hyper-specific increments like three or six minutes, because five- or 10-minute intervals sound generic enough that people rarely stick to the guidelines.
- Timing is everything. Starting late and finishing late in remote meetings is deadly. It hurts morale for those who are on time, wastes the first minutes of meetings as the agenda and intro need to be repeated, and creates a rolling anti-momentum that moves through the day, causing each subsequent meeting to get off to a late start. Consider ending meetings at five minutes before the hour, or even 10. That gives people time to make their next call on time, as well as prepare for that call. It’s rare that a meeting doesn’t have a few minutes of fluff. Trimming that wasted time and ending early will make the meetings more productive, not less, and will minimize employees’ sense of “being in the weeds.”