Hosted PBX in the cloud, also known as VoIP in the cloud or cloud-based PBX, is a modern-day switchboard solution without any of the associated challenges that landlines carry, such as loadshedding and cable-theft. Plus, it also offers incredible technology: Vox voice and 3CX software, and value-added features; web conferencing and live chat.
“Remote-working isn’t a new concept. Forward-thinking companies have been employing staff across provincial and national boundaries for decades because it instantly broadens the available talent pools. Recently, Covid-19 safety regulations and the hybrid working conditions that ensued are forcing office-based industries to adapt to this type of work.”
Diamond says that video web conferencing
software is a great tool to help managers and teams stay up to date on a ‘face-to-face' basis about what needs to be done, but that’s only part of it. Video meetings are also saving businesses time and travel costs, and increasing attendees’ availability. But with anything ‘new’, there are also some teething problems.
“While video is excellent in more ways than one it is still only 2D, and team energy and non-verbal cues may not be conveyed successfully. As a result some employees may leave meetings feeling unfocused and unproductive, which is of course bad for business.
"Companies can prioritise productivity during online meetings by following some best practice advice.”
Apart from using a reliable, secure, and feature-rich communication platform, Diamond advises companies to seek out appropriate value-added tools.
“All meeting attendees need to be able to see and hear each other perfectly; which is why good quality headsets, speakers or earphones, and web cameras are a must. Lighting is also important. Employees need to test their cameras, and make use of additional lighting sources if need be, before a meeting, so as to ensure their faces are clearly visible.”
Diamond maintains that pre- and post-meeting protocols should not be any different than that of a traditional boardroom sit-down. Agendas and minute-taking is critical and a meeting moderator must be appointed for each video meeting to ensure that attendees don’t speak over each other.
“There is an energy one can experience during normal face-to-face meetings,” he says.
“It is easy to notice if someone isn’t happy or wants to add something. Online, however, these body-cues aren’t as easily picked up. Make it a point to ask each employee their input at some stage during the meeting to ensure everyone feels included.”
Finally, Diamond stresses the importance of creating ground rules/etiquette for how meetings should be conducted. Training employees on what is good web conferencing etiquette vs what isn’t, will contribute to professional and productive meetings.