This year in business could be defined by two words: Zoom meeting. On the surface, at times, virtual meetings have felt like one dumpster fire after another. But it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, you may find that you’ll want to keep some important aspects of virtual meetings in place long after employees are back in the office.
Here’s what the business world has learned Zooming from exile:
- They can be great for leadership transformation: This Quartz at Work article points out that virtual meetings have allowed leaders to learn to lead better. Tacit knowledge—experiences and subtle tidbits of information that can’t be explained in a manual or book—that is so important in face-to-face meetings, is notoriously difficult to analyze and pass on. Now these interactions are being recorded and, with a couple AI tools, can be analyzed and scaled for business. Read here for more.
- They can increase productivity: Transcribe the meeting automatically. Turn brainstorming notes into collaborative documents instantly. Have supplemental side conversations and ask questions in chat mode without being a distraction. Virtual meetings have opened the door to endless automation opportunities to increase productivity. Take these tips by Zapier for example.
- The technology is growing up: Video conferencing tools are notoriously clumsy, but they’ve stepped up their games during the pandemic. It’s worth going back to tools like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams/Skype, even if they were troublesome for you before. You might be surprised at how much better they operate now. Check out this list of virtual meeting software now available and competing for your loyalty.
A warning, though: Make sure the way you use virtual meetings doesn’t infringe on privacy rights. At one point, Zoom offered tools like attendee attention tracker, which a meeting host could use to identified participants who clicked away from an active Zoom window for more than 30 seconds during a meeting. It’s been permanently removed for privacy reasons.
Many companies—like Google, Twitter, and Facebook—are committing to prolonged, if not permanent work-from-home arrangements for employees who are interested and can. Even if your company doesn’t take it that far, keeping virtual meetings in play may be a great move, especially when you learn how to optimize the experience with automation and productivity tools.