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.
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 ...
- Embrace the Chaos (my son has been filling our bird feeders just to watch the different birds that come by).
- Focus on the people rather than the location.
- Camera ON. This raises the level of accountability, allows for clear non-verbal communication, and allows people to stay focused on the meeting.
- Don't use a hammer for everything. Sometimes a richer medium of communication (Zoom) is better (than Slack).
- Trust each other.
- Respect downtime.
- Be present, give input, and communicate.
- 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!
- Switch off video and audio: Have as many people as possible turn off their video and audio.
- Close all other applications, unless they are needed for sharing.
- When connecting from remote, rural areas, use cell-phones: with video off, the audio is generally solid.
- Co-Hosts can record if the host is having bandwidth issues.
- Make sure your hardware is working well. Check your router, modem, and computer to make sure they are working properly.
- Fix your WiFi signal. Sometimes you can improve your WIFI signal simply by repositioning or tweaking your router.
- Install an ad-blocker to block ads, animations, and videos that hog bandwidth. Alternately, look into a browser live Brave that blocks advertisements automatically.
- Limit the number of devices connected to the Internet.
- 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.