Video conferences have become an essential part of our daily routine. These meetings have enabled Johns Hopkins Medicine’s faculty and staff to continue to collaborate safely and work remotely and in the office.
As we continue to follow the safety protocols necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19 — including remaining physically distant — consider these tips.
LESS IS MORE
Take five. Plan for your meetings to end five to 10 minutes before the hour, or start five minutes after the hour to allow for natural breaks between back-to-back meetings. End meetings on time. If an assistant schedules your meetings, make sure he or she is aware of this timing.
Personal time. Avoid scheduling meetings during the midday lunch hour or after 5 p.m., which interferes with caregiving responsibilities for many faculty and staff.
What is that noise? Remember to mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
Ready for your close-up? Keeping your camera on can foster a feeling of connection with colleagues when working remotely.
Young and furry “interns.” Accept the possibility that children and pets may be present during a meeting — everyone’s work environment is different, and it’s not always possible for people to separate themselves during a meeting from responsibilities at home.
Need a snack? Go for it. Many of our colleagues are in back-to-back meetings and might not get much of a break. Don’t forget to turn off the mic, and unless you have enough to share with everyone on the call, you may also want to turn off the video.
MIX IT UP
Going old school. Schedule some meetings as telephone/voice-only calls — relying only on video can be exhausting.
Walking and talking. Consider scheduling voice-only walking meetings.