Going virtual – Better quality online meetingsPublished: 2020-04-09 08:14
At Essity in Gothenburg, just like in many other companies, we find ourselves in a new and worrying situation due to the Coronavirus disease that is rapidly spreading around the world.
At Essity we now have three major priorities:
- To protect the employees’ health and safety. We are doing this by encouraging all office employees that have the possibility to work from home to do so. Furthermore we are limiting visitors to our factories to an absolute minimum and taking other precautions in the factory environment to keep our employees safe.
- To keep the operations running so that we can continue delivering essential everyday items like toilet paper, diapers, sanitary pads and incontinence products to the society. All personnel securing the supply chain is working very hard to make sure that we for example have base material in the factories, continue to produce items in a fast pace and that trucks can deliver and collect all the items we are producing.
- To contribute to the society to the best of our ability and not spread this infectious disease. One example of our efforts is that employees at one of Essity’s production facilities outside Gothenburg have in the last weeks redirected production and developed a surgical mask for healthcare use. In this facility we can now produce around 3 million surgical masks per month. Have a look at this article on essity.com to read more.
Good quality online meetings & close communication is key
Looking at priority number one we are facing a situation where many employees that never used to work from home are now doing so. That means that we quickly had to adapt to a new working environment and putting new routines in place so that we can keep working as productively as possible, for ourselves, as a team and as a company.
For us working in the Internal Digital Experience team the last several weeks have been busy due to the growing interest in digital tools. One of my tasks has been to inform and train colleagues in how to Work smart from home. Here are a few of the recommendations I shared in that training:
For better quality online meetings:
- Connect your laptop to the internet using a wired cable or if that is not possible, place your laptop as close to your WIFI router as possible.
- Use a good quality headset or speaker. Screaming into the laptop microphone or using your standard mobile headset will often cause bad sound quality or an echo.
- Think of the use of video. This is a tricky one as I would usually recommend to use video for your online meetings to create a closer and more interactive experience. However, in this moment where millions of people all over the world is working off-site, in their homes or elsewhere, avoiding video might give you a better call experience.
Suggestions to keep a close communication with your collegues:
- Introduce a Daily Operations Meeting (DOM) to quickly go through the relevant work topics of the day. What is new? What is urgent? Priorities?
- Have a daily virtual coffee break to discuss other things than work. Maybe include other people than your those in your immediate team.
- Use a collaboration platform, like Yammer or MS Teams, to share more personal and fun information, like pictures & stories.
- Pick up the phone! With the virtual platforms available today, like Skype and MS Teams, it is easy to reach out to colleagues for a quick chat.
Communicating with people in different ways is more important than ever. It is time well spent to keep a closer communication than usual in these distressing times.
In just a few weeks the world has radically changed. The Coronavirus disease is holding the world captive and there is many with me that is shifting between feeling quite calm and being really worried. As the emotional person I am you will probably not get the best advice from me on that specific topic but if you understand Swedish you can check our this blog post from my colleague Sofi where she interviews two psychologists about how to handle Corona anxiety.
Until next time.
Stay safe and stay social!