It was interesting to read an article about the stresses associated with participation in a virtual meeting. The article referred to the importance of maintaining a high level of concentration required to listen, the effort associated with the need to interpret the many non-verbal clues and the challenge to remain composed during those moments of awkwardness when talking over each other. It is not a surprise then to acknowledge how one can feel a little emotionally drained after participation in such an event.
Virtual meetings are here to stay and, I would assume, will only increase in utilization as we come to terms with the fact that more employees will prefer to either continue with their current working from home arrangement or ask for a favorable mix between working from office and home. Management will be challenged to find a solution that provides employees this new found flexibility whilst not compromising productivity.
The recent surge in virtual meetings has taught me various aspects of this communication tool ranging from a lot of Good, some Bad and a hint of Ugly:
- The Good – The majority of meetings have become more efficient and to the point. The host has to articulate the purpose in advance and be well prepared. As a result, only the right people attend and dialogue is stimulating and to the point, and agreement on measures is achieved.
- The Bad – The discomfort of having your personal home life open for all to see. Whether it’s your dog barking at the postman at just the wrong time or a young child interrupting your train of thought by video bombing (if that’s a phrase,) these things can impact the professional interaction we strive for.
- The Ugly - When WiFi connections are weak or the speaker’s audio fades in and out one can’t help but lose concentration, paying more attention to when the disruption will occur next rather that what was being said.
Lesson Learned, I personally miss the ability to interact face to face with my colleagues, an element of authenticity is lost otherwise. That being said the objective is to adapt, making virtual meetings part of the everyday work habits by enforcing clear meeting guidelines and ensuring everyone has access to the right equipment.
From the Corner Office is a series of articles written by Mike Blundell, President of KSB Canada where he shares his insights on all aspects of the pump business (and sometimes beyond.)