In this blogseries the MCEC Office will post about everything that has to do with working from home.

Today: Virtual calls are the new face-to-face meetings. But let’s be real – meeting online can be challenging sometimes. We bet you recognize some of the struggles in this video.

1 – Meet in Skype/Zoom/MS Teams
Remote work luckily doesn’t mean meetings can’t go ahead. These can often be done via calls or video-conferencing. To start this blog off right, here you’ll find the FAQ’s for Skype, Zoom and MS Teams.

2 – Set a clear goal, prepare and follow-up
Create the agenda for the meeting upfront and make sure that the goal(s) are really clear. In this way all attendees can prepare the meeting in advance, so you have more time to spend on the topic during the call. Don’t forget to follow-up with notes/action points afterwards.

3 –  Limit invites to essential attendees
It can be tempting to invite everyone who can contribute (and yes, it’s more cozy), but more is not always better. Be critical about the amount of people to invite to a call. Because less people = usually more effective. Make sure you follow up with the others afterwards.

4 – Make it visual
Use your ‘share-screen option’ or use real time tools like GoogleDocs, Zoom Whiteboard feature or Mural whiteboard tool for making the discussed input more visible for everyone in the call. In this way everyone can keep the overview and will stay more engaged.

5 Make it interactive
Try to engage everyone and make sure all voices are heard! This can also be done by using the chat function. For example: Start your meeting with a short personal check in (how’s everyone today / show your work place etc..) and actively ask throughout the meeting for people’s feedback and ideas.

Last but not least, some essential Do’s and Don’ts!

Don’ts
Background noise – please make sure to mute yourself when someone is presenting, for the obvious reasons.
Multi-tasking – Even though it’s tempting… Really only focus on the call and avoid doing other things like checking your e-mails or texting.
Lose your patience – practice patience despite the online challenges.

Do’s
Appoint one meeting moderator.
Turn-on all videos. It’s simply more fun and increases engagement.
Virtual coffee dates! A spontaneous virtual coffee call is a fun way to stay in touch with other MCEC members!

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