Virtual meetings are beneficial, as we can often get more of a connection with people than on the phone as we can see them and their body language. Did you know that in a typical face-to-face meeting, 60-70% of the communication is through body language?

However, virtual meetings can also be challenging, especially as many of us are on so many of them – personally and professionally. Why are they so challenging? A few thoughts:

  • All the different backgrounds are distracting.
  • If you have lots of people present, you may not be able to see them all on one screen.
  • Unless you know all the voices very well, it takes time to work out who is speaking.
  • All the movement on the screen is a lot of stimulus!
  • There is often a delay, so people end up speaking over one another.

Here are my top five tips for coping with days of virtual meetings:

  1. For a proportion of the calls you have with people you speak to regularly, try moving some of these back to the phone. There is also no annoying delay!
  2. When there is something that can be discussed by phone, consider whether you can walk and talk to get you away from your desk. This helps thinking too!
  3. Try to structure your diary to fit in with how you’re working best at least a couple of days a week e.g. if mornings suit you to do in-depth thinking work, try to keep some of that time free to do that, rather than arranging calls.
  4. Plan when you will get out for some exercise and escape the screen, or it won’t happen.
  5. Schedule meetings to be a max of 45minutes and leave a break before the next one to walk around and make another drink! It will help others do the same.

If you want some more tips on what to consider regarding your professional relationships at this time, click here.

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