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LAST GUY ON A ZOOM CALL

BLOG POST: LAST GUY ON A ZOOM CALL

Written by Doug Murray

One of the side effects of quarantine is finding ways to keep in touch using video conferencing applications such as Zoom, Webex or GoTo Meeting. Many of us have been using video-meetings for a few years leading up to the Covid-19 nightmare, but now ALL of us have been subjected to the new reality of working at home. I enjoy a good Zoom happy hour from time to time. I think it allows people to reconnect with their work families and show a little creativity with their background or by letting everyone see their hairless cat wonder through the frame every couple of minutes.

But, how do you know when too much is too much?

Simple – you hear (and see) that “moment.” That weird, awkward moment where no-one says anything, a few people have left their chairs, and nobody is engaged in any conversation. This can happen on family calls just as easily. There is a simple solution. Whomever is moderating the call just has to state (at the start of the call) that the call is over at a very specific time. The trick is, you block out much less time for the call than you are hoping to use. If things are going well, and everyone is still engaged, you extend the meeting. If not, if the magic moment of silence has made the call unbearable, at least you have the clock to lean on.

“OK, its 3:15, we’ll talk to you guys later, thanks for logging in. Cheers.” And boom, it’s over. Hey, virtual meetings are no different than conference room meetings. Most of the time you can accomplish what needs to be accomplished in 15-20 minutes, unless of course you work at The White House and you’re discussing how to roll out a ”shelter in place” plan for the whole of the United States, then maybe…maybe you should give it a full hour.

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