You were already used to the meeting marathon. With the Covid19 situation, you have now fully entered the era of video-calls. However, this new way is emotionally draining. It comes from a combination of factors that require more mental process than face to face interactions.
We have selected here few tips to help you keep runing the video call marathon, and hopefully adopt new habits that you will keep for ever.
First, we encourage you to cut down on video-calls
a. organise your agenda differently
• Implement time boxing with some ‘NO MEETING’ or ‘FOCUS TIME’ blocks
• Launch a weekly ‘Meeting-Free day’
• Refuse calls if you feel you do not have any added value
• Use collaboration clouds or project management tools
b. consider alternative ways to communicate
• Replace calls with recorded messages or asynchronous videos
• Come back to emails and/or chats
• Don’t forget about the telephone!
Secondly, make video-calls more bearable and confortable
a- again organisation and structure will be your allies
• Always have an objective for your meeting (information? Decision? Brainstorming?)
and a clear agenda with a meeting itinerary
• Involve participants from the start (eg. ice breakers, introductions, temperature check)
• Adopt efficient meeting management with meeting leader and/or moderator, time keeper for each video-call. It is a good way to get people involved in the meeting despite the distance
• Run shorter meetings of 25min or 50min
• and pause. Take active breaks. And stick to it! Don’t look at your phone and move, breathe, step out for a while
b- make sure the video-call tool is at your service and not the opposite
• Turn off your camera or hide self-view (a post-it will do too!). Decide when there is an added value of having the camera on or off
• Forget about multi-tasking: close tabs, disable email and chat notifications
c- think about your environment
• Separate your work space from your personal space. If you don't have a separate room to transform into an office, be creative. A screen will do.
• Change your typical set-up to feel refreshed
With remote collaboration and online tools, we should be able to develop new skills to manage our meetings in a more efficient and collaborative way. Indeed, online tools give us the opportunity to involve key people in our discussions. Do not miss the chance to get diverse perspectives. But adapt your ways of working to make sure to benefit from these new opportunities.