You cannot implement an NWOW philosophy in a company, allow people to work from any place they feel appropriate and not provide an adequate meeting infrastructure and tools in addition to necessary training.
Getronics Belux did a great job making the following services in the meeting rooms available:
- small meeting bubbles with an IP Phone for audio conferencing
- large meeting rooms with a Unified IP Conference Station from Cisco
- an executive briefing center with embedded microphones (in the tables) and an integrated IP (fixed) videoconferencing unit
- a mobile IP videoconferencing unit to move into the appropriate meeting rooms
In addition a large pallet of tools was made available on the laptops:
- Microsoft Lync for video/audio conferencing between laptops
- Microsoft Livemeeting to create an online meeting rooms
- Cisco Webex for online presentations and meetings (very similar to Netmeeting)
- Mobile of fixed webcams for each laptop
- A quality head set with mic
Having these tools at your disposal is one thing, being able to use them adequately is another. So the necessary training sessions have been planned in the format of online training and hands-on training sessions with coaches.
In addition to the technical trainings and showing them how to set up online audio or video meetings, it is important to coach people in organizing and leading online meetings. Knowing how to lead or participate in meetings is relevant for online and physical meeting, but online meetings require additional skills and care.
Some additional tips for online meetings are:
- test an online meeting a few days before the meeting has to take place
- encourage everyone to get online 5' in advance of the meeting
- provide the online meeting details by means of a simple link (verify the link yourself)
- for important videoconferencing meetings, assure an audio conferencing only alternative or activate an audio IP conferencing station or audio bridge
- if you are not actively engaging in the conference, put your mic in mute (silent) mode to reduce background noise
- move into a bubble or an area where you do not disturb colleagues
- if you cannot move into a bubble, wear your head phones
- for the best audio quality, use a head set with microphone
- if you organize an international audio conference bridge assure you make local dial numbers available
Do you encourage audio and video conferencing in your company?
Would you like to share some of your tips for online meetings?