The year is 1992. Madonna and Vanilla Ice emerge as a couple, Donald Trump makes a welcome appearance in “Home Alone 2” and smash hit “Rump-Shaker” is climbing the Billboard charts. What a time to be alive! (Okay…I wasn’t born yet.)
Fast forward to 2020 and everything has changed - except the surprising relevance of one-hit-wonders Wreckx-N-Effect, as all any business wants to do is “zoom-a-zoom-zoom”.
These days, headlines can feel as far-fetched as this intro. Businesses are left to sink or swim in an uncharted sea of technology, virtual meetings and remote work. Since our team at Price Lang wants to see our clients thrive, not simply survive, we’ve compiled six strategies to boost your virtual vibe.
1. Pick the Proper Platform
Our team most frequently uses Zoom and GoToMeeting for virtual meetings. Both offer affordable plans that allow users to join from a phone or computer without having to install new software. Of course, there are many more options to consider. Factors like meeting duration, size and branding needs will impact your choice. Zoom’s free plan, for example, caps meeting times at 40 minutes but the platform offers several options for personalization. Here’s a helpful comparison of the top free video conferencing apps this year.
2. Personality, Please
These creative Zoom backgrounds are good for a laugh, but they may be onto something bigger. Adding personal touches to your meeting can boost both fun and professionalism. So, if your chosen platform allows personalization — use it! Our team has created a number of branded backgrounds, adding a layer of preparation and professionalism to our clients’ virtual meetings. Other ways to up your brand’s personality are through a vanity URL or a personal meeting page.
3. Optimize Your Office
People are judging your home office. Don’t believe me? Twitter account, @RoomRater, is wholly dedicated to scoring the backgrounds of prominent virtual meetings and they give no grace. The general consensus is to keep it simple but add interest. A plant, a painting or a well-styled bookshelf can enhance your viewers’ perspective. But beyond decor, you can optimize your office by eliminating background noise and having everything you might need already on hand - a drink, pen, paper - so you can stay in-frame and engaged throughout the meeting.
4. Corral the Kids
Working at home with kids is a whole different animal. Their ability to crash parent productivity is truly remarkable. In this respect, the stars really are just like us, evidenced by Jimmy Fallon’s adorable video-bomber on a recent episode of “The Tonight Show. “The best we can do is plan in advance. While parents of older children may find success in loosening screen-time laws, I have curated a busy-box for my toddler to protect my time during virtual meetings. Filled with Target dollar-section treasures, it provides safe, pre-approved play options to keep her busy while I work. When these options fail, remember: the mute button is your friend.
5. Plan Some Play
You know what they say, “All work and no play sucks the life out of virtual meetings.” … or something like that. Our team incorporates something fun into every Friday meeting. Games, themed apparel or a virtual happy hour are ways to break the monotony and boost morale for your team. Here are some ideas to get you started.
6. Try A Little Tenderness
Whether you’re tired of slow wifi and social lives or worrying about elderly and essential loved ones, we’re all a little weary. In this challenging and unprecedented time, try to give little grace - to yourself, your business, your kids, even to your great aunt on Facebook - because of the many ways to boost your virtual vibe, this is the most valuable of all.