Many of us have decamped our office to a remote location and we are cutting our contact with others. We have had to do the same with our team here at E4All. The important thing to get people to remember is to stay in touch by phone and if possible by video calls. We have never had to do this as a team, but we have tried Zoom.us and we are finding it really helps.
Here are some tips on staying in touch during social isolation or distancing.
- Encourage people to log in with video as well as audio. It’s easier when you have visual feedback and you feel more connected.
- Therefore when inviting people, tell them you’d prefer if they join with video too, so they can set up correctly and change out of their pyjamas!!
- At the outset, ask people to come off mute and introduce themselves. Get them talking and interacting early on so they are confident – its a new skill. Then set the expectation that you’ll be asking questions throughout. That way, they’ve already spoken so they feel more inclined to continue, and have to pay attention in case they’re asked something!!
- Describe the outcomes of the session and ensure they meet with everyone’s needs. You need them to give your full attention and they may be surrounded by distractions.
- Stick to tangible tips as much as possible and avoid too much theory / discussion. Boredom sets in quickly otherwise.
- Keep the pace and energy high to retain interest. Don’t powerpoint people to death either.
- Take breaks sooner, perhaps every hour. People want to use the loo, get a coffee, answer their email etc. and need time to mentally refresh.
- Ask questions and ask them to say their name when they respond. It helps you and others know who’s talking.
- If you are sharing a screen make sure your desktop is tidy!
- If you are on a video chat from the spare room and its a store room normally try adding a background in the video options.