Wednesday, September 22

Virtual Work Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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A lot has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started. We wash our hands frequently, wear masks in social outings, and keep appropriate social distance from other people. But, we also use the internet more and not only for news.

Online conversations have grown considerably during 2020, based on reports from relevant companies, like Zoom and Microsoft. For example, Zoom has reached 300 million daily participants in April last year compared to 10 million in December 2019. So let’s see how virtual work meetings changed the face of business during the COVID-19 pandemic and will it remain as a permanent communication solution.

Staying in touch with employees

Lockdown has forced a lot of people to adopt alternative ways of doing business and staying in touch has never been more important. Cloud-based services have become a normal way to converse among team members, substituting face-to-face communication.

While calls, chats, and emails have their advantages, they also offer only a portion of what you can get with video conversations. Being able to see the other person or persons makes the meetings more personal and gives it the human touch, something lacking from written communiqué, even when using emojis. Virtual work meetings make sure that nothing is misinterpreted or taken the wrong way, as well as create a comfortable environment for positive and negative business outcomes.

Teamwork at its finest

To maintain the quality of works, you need to bring your teams together in one place. This is where project management platforms can make a lot of difference for your business. From project planning to documentation exchange, this software allows you to monitor progress, assign tasks, and facilitate communication of employees.

With task lists, schedules, file sharing, reporting, and other functional aspects you can ensure clear communication with and between team members. Some of the most prominent project management apps are Basecamp, Nifty, and Zoho, but which one you will use depends on what you need from this software.

Safety of data during virtual work meetings

Most online communication platforms offer encryption of data that is exchanged during your virtual meetings. This is one of the most important features you should look for when choosing the software for your business. If your employees are new to the video calls, provide them training, tutorials, and explanations on the most important issues, like data protection.

Moreover, choose a reliable video conferencing provider that offers end-to-end encryption and appropriate contractual terms guarantying the confidentiality of your online meetings. A lot can be done for security when setting up a video conference, like restricting access with a password and specific invitations. Additionally, caution your employees to attend virtual meetings from a safe environment and avoid public places where others can take videos and pictures, or eavesdrop on their work conversations.

Combining physical meetings with the virtual ones

Once the pandemic is over, businesses will have to adapt to using physical space again. While some may see remote work as a permanent possibility, others simply can’t function at full capacity that way. However, you don’t have to forgo the comfort of virtual work meetings completely, but find a way to incorporate it into your daily dealings.

Using only one approach is indeed easier and less confusing, but you should consider who will benefit the most from combining these two. Some teams may be more efficient and productive if they continue with online communication and recognizing that can help your business grow and thrive on the market. Research advantages and disadvantages of employing both physical and virtual meetings, but also make sure that each team implements the right method to realize its maximum potential.

Going beyond just work communication

Working from home can be challenging, especially if you are not living alone. The internet is full of funny videos of peoples’ virtual conversations being hijacked by their pets, children, and other background events. However, while that may be unpleasant for those involved, it also shows another aspect of the virtual work meeting software — the potential for private use.

For example, you can turn house chores into projects and create tasks for each family member or have dinners with friends over video calls. Some people turned video conferencing platforms into means to host emotional support meetings and fitness classes. Of course, you can use this software to create a more comfortable work environment with remote team-building activities. Some of the fun things you can do with coworkers are virtual escape room, weekly trivia contest, and never have I ever.

In conclusion

Times are changing constantly and the recent year and a half have proven that new technologies play a big role in our future. Virtual work meetings may have been neglected, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, online project management and communication have blossomed. While, hopefully, this way of doing business won’t replace physical space, it’s comforting to know that it offers another approach to improve our professional lives.

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