Conference calls: can’t live without them and—thanks to everything 2020—we all, well and truly, need to learn how to live with them.
We have now entered the daily conference call era, complete with all the perks and pitfalls that can come from doing things totally digitally.
That’s where we come in. At Innonet, we specialise in providing IT and communication solutions for companies just like yours.
But even with the most streamlined next-generation technology and hardware, there’s still the sometimes choppy seas of social-but-separate etiquette to handle.
So, here we’re going to break down 3 of the most common conference call mistakes and mishaps that can happen when digitally collaborating with your team.
We hope they never happen, but if they do, here’s how to handle them.
Getting caught multi-tasking
We don’t want to dull your shine, you’re probably a fantastic multitasker and therefore a total asset to your company. However, there’s a fine line between quickly checking a text and trying to get to ‘inbox zero’ during a conference call.
We get it—video call fatigue is a REAL thing and can spring up on even the most enthusiastic and caffeinated staffer.
The thing is, the fundamental element in video calling is, in fact, the video.
Glancing away? Completely fine.
Facing in a totally different direction? That’s a giant non-verbal cue that you’ve checked out of the meeting.
The best way to ensure it never happens? Close down your email.
By exiting out of email altogether, you’re not allowing your brain to get distracted by pop-ups.
The same goes for any other messaging system you have in place.
If you can manage to minimise any external technology (including your phone) your brain will be forced to find ways to entertain itself within the meeting.
Desktop over exposure
Perhaps you’re the kind of staffer that revels in 5-minute breaks between projects to check the latest sports scores or read the news headlines. Or, maybe it helps your brain focus by indulging in a short game during your coffee break.
Congrats, you’re normal.
Nobody can begrudge you mixing a little bit of pleasure in between doing great business.
However, there comes a time when we all have to put away childish things (or fun things, at least)—that time is when you have to do a screen share.
The web’s pathways are woven with tales of awkward screen shares, filled with accidentally showing entire teams private messages between friends, couples, and even crucial business secrets. In fact, unintentionally showing that you caught up on the latest entertainment news before the meeting is the LEAST of your worries.
Here are a few great ways to ensure this never happens to you.
1. Tidy your desk(top)
Take a few minutes before the meeting to tidy up your desktop. This includes visible bookmarks to regularly visited websites. Nobody needs to know that you’re a World of Warcraft Northrend Dungeonmaster in your spare time. Simply drag that personal stuff away into a private folder called ‘Work’, and you’ll be safe.
2. Clear your history
Sometimes things that happen in the past should be left in the past—including research on your upcoming ski holiday, or your lunch-break medical Google-ings on ‘What’s the difference between a mole or a freckle?’
These days many browsers allow you to clear your web and search history without emptying your entire cache (passwords). So take advantage of living in this golden age of technology and wipe away your digital slate before pressing share.
When no agenda IS the agenda
This one is a simple mistake to make but also one to quickly rectify.
The unspoken rule of all conference calls is that whoever arranges the video call sets the ‘agenda’. But what if your team leader missed the memo on making this meeting-of-the-minds worth everybody’s while?
This is when you can step up and show off those leadership chops you may have been hiding.
Ask everyone in the meeting to ‘mute’ themselves and ask the leader to take 1 minute to explain the conversation’s goal and a time limit.
This will immediately put everyone into the headspace to get things done and knowing that there’s a time limit will help people stay on target…and resist the urge to check their inbox.
Speaking of video conferences, want to know how to make cloud telephony and video conferencing work for your business?
Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org