Even though many people are vaccinated, there are several more who are not. For this reason, some offices are still not fully open, and many employees do not want to return to the status quo represented by office cubicles. Therefore, Zoom meetings continue. However, with the thought that some work environments and cultures may never be the same, it is imperative to continuously improve upon video communications and presentations. Let us face it, the extroverts long for these types of interactions, while those who are introverted could do without them. Nevertheless, to keep the bills paid, efforts should still be made to appear on video meetings well prepared and smiling, while trying to get a point or two across.
In meetings, typically, there are two kinds of leaders. The first kind often thinks through questions and the needs of staff members before presenting. The second kind is not usually methodical. She or he shares ideas and asks questions about specific tasks at the spur of the moment without giving staff members a chance to prepare. This second structure of meeting style usually has no agenda. However, this is not to say that one cannot be ready for both forms. Here are some suggestions:
- Suppose video meetings seem to get out of control quickly. It is essential always to try to bring everyone back to the center of the discussion. Something like this can be said “Because I am quietly brainstorming, I can have a response by the end of the meeting. I will present the information when it is my turn to do so.” This approach helps to reel everyone in, and each person may likewise take on this approach as well. Another appropriate verge is to say a follow-up will come by email by a specific date or time. Delivering a promise creates accountability.
- Chat during a discussion. In this communication method, links can be shared, and those who would rather not speak can write what he or she is thinking. Questions can also be asked in this manner.
- When it is time to speak, be sure to have an outline of the presentation.
- Before speaking, always give an approximate presentation timeline, such as one minute, two minutes, etc.
- Discuss strengths regarding a specific project and offer to help if workload permits.
In line with these suggestions, it is essential to note that the need to impress co-workers and managers is occasionally present in video meetings. There is always one or two persons who desire to be the center of attention. These individuals can make it impossible for the quiet staff member to discuss current projects or daily requirements. These behaviors are negative spillovers into an already uncertain future based on work and earning a living in post-covid times. One domain is almost certain to affect the other. Therefore, remain focused and never take specific behaviors personally because you can only control you!
Teleworking requires tremendous change. However, when a human resources department is supportive and readily available to help, this enhances the adjustment to working from home, and can make the experience a bit more bearable (Martínex-Sánchez et al., 2008), specifically when dealing with strong personalities on video meetings. In addition, an effective leader can prove to make this transition equally as successful (Beno, 2018), should he or she recognize that there are problematic staff members.
It is easy to allow fear and unsureness to creep into mental capacity. Conversely, though, if you are on top of daily work tasks, continue to stay there. Always hold a compelling vision of what future work could be and consistently make significant strides to meet its reality. Consistency in work and life models, almost always predicts and provides positive results.
Beno, M., 2018. Managing telework from an Austrian manager’s perspective. In: Á. Rocha, H. Adeli, L.P. Reis and S. Costanzo eds., 2018. Trends and Advances in Information Systems and Technologies. Cham: Springer, pp.16-29
Martínez-Sánchez, A., Pérez-Pérez, M., Vela-Jiménez, M. J. and de-Luis-Carnicer, P., 2008. Telework adoption, change management, and firm performance. Journal of Organizational Change Management [e-journal] 21(1), pp.7-31. doi: 10.1108/09534810810847011