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Improve Your Video Calls in 7 Easy Steps

By | blog, Productivity | No Comments

Sometimes, it’s not feasible to have multiple employees or clients visiting one office to have a meeting.

This is where video and conference calls come in handy; being able to discuss business from your own home, or when on-the-go, is a lot more cost-effective, time-efficient and environmentally-friendly than several individuals travelling across the country to be in one place for a few minutes.

However, most of you know that video calls are not always the smoothest of operations. One person can’t hear anything, one person’s picture is distorted, and another’s computer keeps crashing. While some technical difficulties are unavoidable, there are some areas where you can ensure that your business calls run much more smoothly than before.

Set out your objectives.

Let’s face it, many of us have been to meetings, both in-person and virtually, where we have no idea what we’re there for. Start the call with introductions and clear aims. And, if you discover that there’s not much point in having a full-blown meeting, maybe set up a group chat on a messaging app like Slack or Microsoft Teams to discuss your meeting topic instead.

Be organised.

Make sure everyone knows the date and time of the meeting and has everything they need to be prepared, whether that’s documents, images or a mindmap. Tell everyone to add it to their diary, or send out a calendar invite with the day and time of the call.

Send a reminder.

Nowadays, thanks to online calendars like Google and Outlook, we usually get an automatic reminder of our appointments. But, it’s a good idea to send out an email the day before. Some people don’t check their calendars as often as others, so they could still forget if not reminded.

Send out the agenda. 

You should have a structured plan of what needs to be talked about during the meeting. Giving everyone the information beforehand helps everyone get on the same page from the very start of the session.

Arrive early.

Try to be at least 10-15 minutes early so that you can check any equipment and your internet connectivity. This way, if there is an issue, you have some time to address it and fix it. Encourage other attendees to do the same so that they are ready to start before the meeting even begins.

Have a designated note-taker.

It’s always good to take notes, but it can be hard to focus on the conversation while scribbling in a notepad. Your note-taker could act as a moderator for the call, or be one of your employees within the video link. These notes should be sent out to all attendees post-call, just in case someone has missed something or needs to refresh at a later date.

Alternatively, and if everyone agrees to it, you could record your video chat to look back on in the future.

Give everyone a chance to speak.

A moderator is a good way to make sure everyone gets their say. There can be many voices during a business call, so it’s vital that everyone has a chance to contribute.

Of course, face-to-face meetings are often the best way to discuss business. But, we know it’s just not possible sometimes, especially if you have employees or clients across the country or even the world. Using video call technology is a little more personable than an email or phone call, and you can chat with multiple people at any one time. We hope, with these tips, your next video call runs so slickly, that it’ll feel like your colleagues are in the same room as you. 

Speak to a member of our team about how you can boost your team’s productivity with technology. 

Working Remotely Success Tips Title Image

5 Tips For Successfully Working Remotely

By | blog, Productivity | No Comments

Working remotely from home is on the rise, with flexi-time rising by 12.35% between 2012 and 2016.

In fact, an estimated half of the UK workforce will work remotely by 2020.

Working away from the office can boost productivity, allowing your team to fit their schedule around family and home life. But, there are risks to consider for your business, especially if you jump into remote working blindfolded.

We’re here to give you some starting points to help your team stay secure and productive.

Strengthen your security when working remotely.

Invest in security.

Antivirus, firewalls and backups – even if no one in your team works remotely, you should have quality software to protect your data and applications.

Moreover, it’s essential to push cybersecurity to the forefront of your employees’ and colleagues’ minds. Humans are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain and can easily undo any hard work put in by security software and systems.

Raise awareness about cybersecurity. Stop sharing passwords, think before you click on a link in an email and think twice before you hook up to the dodgy free Wi-Fi in your local coffee shop.

Keep your software up to date.

Viruses and ransomware are becoming smarter by the day, with new versions of the malicious software being released all the time.

Your antivirus and security software is only as reliable as its last update. Keep on top of updates and make sure you have the latest release installed so it can battle the most advanced threats.

Set up a VPN.

If your remote workers wish to work on-the-go, you need to consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

This creates a secure tunnel between the user and the internet, preventing prying eyes from (notoriously unsecure) public Wi-Fi hotspots peeping in on your connection and data.

Read our blog on how to use public Wi-Fi safely.

Increase productivity when working remotely.

Manage your projects seamlessly.

It’s challenging to stay on the same page when you’re not all in the same office. But, with advancements in software, it is possible to keep everyone on track when they’re scattered around the world.

One simple way to keep on track with deadlines, meetings and dates is to put them in a shared calendar on Outlook or Google Calendar. Meanwhile, project management tools like Trello, Asana and Monday are brilliant for assigning tasks and moving projects forward, quickly.

Communicate and collaborate.

Again, it can be challenging to get everyone in the same room when you have a team of remote workers.

Instant messaging tools Microsoft Teams and Slack are built for businesses like yours. What previously would have been a quick (potentially unnecessary) meeting or long-winded email thread, can now be a five-minute group chat.

However, when you do need a face-to-face discussion, video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype connect people from all over the globe. All you need is an internet connection.

Thinking of remote working, but not sure where to begin? We can help you and your team get off to a great start, give us a call today.