It’s time to act different to get different. Outside of the core fundamentals of life I value KNOWLEDGE and TIME higher than most things. Remaining knowledge hungry ensures the world is forever a captivating and interesting place to be. Optimum use of time ensures both essential and desirable socio-personal and business outcomes can be achieved with metronome like consistency and efficiency.
Home or remote working can deliver a mass of advantages including the removal of time lost to commuting, the potential to maximise time available for non-work activities, the chance for services to remain available through times of crisis and the potential to offer work opportunities to different demographics. However, it requires a rethink of work behaviour or meeting etiquette to ensure the remote collaboration or meeting experience is beneficial to all. Web and video remote conferencing services used effectively have the potential to “change the game”.
The points below are a handful of ideas to optimise and unlock measurable value from the use of remote web or conferencing platforms. Many are well known and common sense practices, but at this challenging time should be applied with increased levels of consistency:
Prepare the remote working space and web collaboration tools in advance of the remote meeting. Clear background clutter in the room if broadcasting yourself or your environment using video or web conferencing. At its most basic, move your seating position into a hallway with a blank wall behind you if you don’t want family pictures or your home environment on display.
If you do or don’t not want to use video during the remote web conferencing meeting, explain to all participants the need or benefits of using video (ability to see and interpret body language, etc). Video within a conferencing platform can be selectively used with participants either interacting via voice, video or both. Unless company policy forces the use of video, engage in a manner that feels most comfortable for all participants and if that means no video for the individual participant, it should be their choice.
Web remote conference meeting recording is a very important issue to address at the start of any meeting. The meeting host must convey their desire for the meeting to be recorded or not. If a participant for legal, privacy or other reason explains they do not want the session recorded the recording option must be turned off or the participant must leave the remote meeting. Background recording of a session by stealth contravenes all privacy guidelines and statutes.
Check to ensure the web conference remote access device (laptop, smartphones, tablet) is working and connects successfully at least 15 minutes before the call. It stops all parties losing the first 10 minutes of the call due to connection issues.
Send any pre read content for the remote meeting participants by Email 24 hours before the meeting or at least an hour if it’s a last minute request. Explain in the email the importance of the pre read email content to be absorbed ahead of the remote session to deliver context and additional insight. This will save 15 to 20 mins at the start of the session ensuring all participants are at the same knowledge level.
Circulate, ideally in the same email as the pre read content, the need for the remote meeting, the outcomes of the actual remote conferencing session (what does good look like at the end), a few bullet points to consider as topics for “discussion” or topics for “decision”. This ensures the remote conferencing meeting participants attend the meeting with views already formed to be discussed and tangible outcomes in mind.
If the main speaker will be occupied answering questions during the meeting from the start, appoint an alternative meeting chair to keep the meeting flowing, stop a single point or person dominating the meeting or to keep referring back to the meeting objectives and outcomes highlighted in the pre read email.
And lastly consider the impact of the duration of remote conferencing meetings. One hour is a time frame all can accommodate with enthusiasm and energy. One to two hours should also deliver valuable remote conferencing meeting outcomes applying the meeting etiquette techniques previously mentioned. Longer than two hours may be challenging for all parties based on keeping all participants fully engaged without human, person to person, proximity based energy. Longer remote conferencing or collaboration meetings are possible prepared and managed well but shorter, direct remote engagement seems to be effective.
I hope the content above is useful as we all expand the well-known and effective remote web conferencing approach and flip it for the short to medium term into the primary organisational, societal and personal user engagement platform.
Used well remote web conferencing (audio and video) will help to maximise the value of that golden component of life, “TIME”. Remote collaboration and conferencing tools used as the norm, in primary engagement mode have the potential to change the way we interact and work forever. But as people we need to re-calibrate our remote or home working engagement expectations first because the platform is only a vehicle or channel to achieve that engagement.
Until next time.
Business Line CTO UK (Networking & Security)
I was fortunate last week to visit one of our enterprise customers for an executive strategy session.
The customer invited a room of senior stakeholders to discuss and debate future ways of working and connecting next generation end user workspaces. Many questions were posed – what are the needs of tomorrows employee, what does tomorrows customer look like, who will the competitors be – how many of today’s major players will remain? Most importantly what changes are required, personal, cultural, professional, operational, technological and so on to take everything that makes the organisation great today and recalibrate it to ensure they are great tomorrow.
It is a pleasure to interface directly with business stakeholders discussing how their organisation needs to evolve to realise business success in the future. And you know it’s a mutually rewarding session when discussions pose new and radical questions that encourage all to rethink even the most robust personal viewpoints.
Understanding the “future way of working” or “tomorrows workplace”, spawned by evolving employee and customer behaviour seems to be top of the agenda of many organisations serious about winning in the corporate landscape of tomorrow. But where do you start, is the current BYOD euphoria a sneak preview of tomorrows mobile orientated, information rich, always on world or the late arrival of an activity organisations should have undertaken years ago.
And the wire “free” wireless network environment both public and private highlighted by many as one of the silver bullets of “next generation workspace” is also raising a few concerns. The consensus seems to be whilst performing admirably most of the time, many legacy wireless LANs are seriously compromised all too many times. Which positions a wireless LAN upgrade as the first “upgrade it now” post it note on the fridge of any thought leading CTO or CIO.
And who can forget end user devices, or is it operating systems or is it applications or even “apps”, and so on. Do we understand the end user behaviour enabled by this new mobile device wave that unlocks and enables different business outcomes – can the organisation harness it, maximise it, capitalise on it?
But now appears a real dilemma, “to be ready for the workspace tomorrow”, “where do you start today”. Is it wireless, is it devices, users, apps, BYOD – is it security, is it process / workflow change, is it all of the above and more ….. Or is it quite simply to “just start”.
Change starts with change and one of the hardest elements to embrace for even the most successful of the worlds species is the ode that the “skills and capabilities have got you here may not be enough to get you there”.
Future blogs will examine this topic further but organisations may want to consider the following as a minimum to ensure they obtain a connected environment essential to achieving “future workspace” success.
- Local area access switch functionality and effectiveness (poe, onboard WLC,etc).
- Device independent applications (HTML5 for example).
- Wireless LAN coverage, reliability and performance.
- End user wireless access and authentication, remediation.
- Mobile device and application management (MDaAM)
- Data loss prevention (DLP)
- Wireless to core round trip optimisation (and internet back haul)
Getting today’s workplace centric organisation ready for tomorrow’s workspace centric ideal will be fun but hard. With that in mind senior level sponsorship and acknowledgement that change is not only essential but also now, is as good a place to start – and will ensure that you actually “start”.
Until next time