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Low-Bandwidth Communication

Recently, I have had several discussions with various organizations about remote communications. I also have my own opinions on things. Here's I will condense some of the finer points.

Working (and Communicating) Remotely

At the beginning of the Pandemic lock-down, we started putting out sidewalk chalk. For several months, we had glorious artwork put out by neighbors walking by.

Here are a few other things I learned ...

  1. Embrace the Chaos (my son has been filling our bird feeders just to watch the different birds that come by).
  2. Focus on the people rather than the location.
  3. Camera ON. This raises the level of accountability, allows for clear non-verbal communication, and allows people to stay focused on the meeting.
  4. Don't use a hammer for everything. Sometimes a richer medium of communication (Zoom) is better (than Slack).
  5. Trust each other.
  6. Respect downtime.
  7. Be present, give input, and communicate.
  8. Focus on team or organization goals, not differences.

Working Remotely: From Isolation to Inclusion to Innovation with Craig Golightly (Pluralsight LIVE 2020)

Work with your organization to provide proper tooling. A recent client had their Outlook servers secured. We had to be connected via a VPN to get to our email. They have since moved this to Office365 and now I can get to my email and calendar without the VPN connection!

Low Bandwidth Communication

  1. Switch off video and audio: Have as many people as possible turn off their video and audio.
  2. Close all other applications, unless they are needed for sharing.
  3. When connecting from remote, rural areas, use cell-phones: with video off, the audio is generally solid.
  4. Co-Hosts can record if the host is having bandwidth issues.
  5. Make sure your hardware is working well. Check your router, modem, and computer to make sure they are working properly.
  6. Fix your WiFi signal. Sometimes you can improve your WIFI signal simply by repositioning or tweaking your router.
  7. Install an ad-blocker to block ads, animations, and videos that hog bandwidth. Alternately, look into a browser live Brave that blocks advertisements automatically.
  8. Limit the number of devices connected to the Internet.
  9. Change your browser settings. Most browsers allow users to switch off images, which can conserve bandwidth.

Per Zoom Support

  • Test bandwidth via speed test.
  • Turn off VPN, if possible.
  • Connecting WIRED versus WIFI.
  • Place computer closer to the WIFI access point.
  • Upgrade WIFI firmware.
  • Use WIFI extender.

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