Although the concept of the virtual-only workspace is nothing new, for many of us it has come as a sudden and unexpected reality. The spread of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown to help flatten the curve, meant that we went from happy team players exchanging handshakes and sharing ideas face-to-face one week, to self-isolated virtual workers the next.
While we can consider ourselves fortunate that we have the technology to keep the wheels of industry turning during a lockdown, it does take some adjustment to become acquainted with a virtual-only way of working.
For one, we need to consider how we humanise online meetings and adapt to a different world of social etiquette. I’ve been doing some research and have come across some excellent articles that outline how working online can actually be a win-win situation for everyone.
In 5 Ways Science Shows Us How To Work Better Virtually, the author outlines five ways in which you can hold more professional online meetings which includes making sure your sound is good, setting up lighting and video so that you look professional and paying attention to social cues, which are the same whether you are meeting in person or over the internet.
The article, Putting the ‘human’ into virtual meetings offers some pointers on humanising online interactions, so that we don’t lose the connection we have with our colleagues.
Lastly, I’d recommend reading What it takes to run a great virtual meeting, which outlines the steps needed to run a good online meeting.
While it’s important that we all remain positive and hope that life will return to normal in three weeks’time, it’s impossible to predict how or when this crisis will conclude. And even once the “all-clear” is given, the working world has had to re-think how we go about “business as usual” in a world that is anything but predictable.