It has been interesting to see how many colleagues and contacts refer to our Covid-19 situation as ‘a new world’ of working. For me, this is not the case.
With the privilege of working across multiple countries and time zones, virtual working has been a major part of my roles for at least 22 years. Similarly, delivering coaching, mentoring, presentations and public speaking via our internet world has also been common for me.
I enjoy the ability to go from a home space into a working forum, simply by switching on my laptop. Whilst I miss seeing close colleagues and meeting up with friends, I also enjoy the freedom and ease of virtual working and delivery.
In the past month alone, I’ve contributed to training delivery, podcasts, spoken at schools, conducted assessments and shared a working forum with colleagues to collate and share tips and lessons learned.
I’ve found myself using everything from Skype to GoToMeeting, to MS Teams to Zoom – all have their nuances and quirks; but ultimately they all help me share time and collaborate with others. A few tips follow:
- Check connections every time
- Set a simple agenda and clear timings (and time zones)
- Be flexible in using a range of platforms
- Remember some people are new to virtual working
- Take a little extra time to communicate, create rapport, socialise before commencing
- Use of a headset – reduces noise and adds clarity
- Use the mute button, respecting the voices of others and encourages focus
- Follow up – thank participants, if you’re leading, and the conveners if you’re not
Ultimately, we have the opportunity to connect with so many people and learn so much. One of my favourite experiences was learning about ‘In Her Company’ a web platform with diverse women, and experiences. Through Khrys Vaughan’s excellent facilitation, I learned more about tea. The challenges for the environment, communities, sellers and of course consumers.
There is much to learn … and it’s at our fingertips. Enjoy!