As you settle into the new virtual, remote work life, you may find yourself at times drowning in the flood of electronic communications: email, Zoom, FaceTime, Slack, and whatever proprietary chat tools you have. Having and using too many tech options is overwhelming and can lead to a negative impact on productivity just like having too few tools and options.
From finding the balance between video, email, text, chat – to what you may have forgotten about – real live phone calls, here is today’s Friday Five: Tech Tips.
1. Talk to your IT team to get their recommendations – and use them.
- Think about how overwhelmed they are, trying to help your entire company go remote. They are helping everyone with everything from setting up computers to connecting to printers to understanding VPN to downloading and understanding new tools and softwares.
- Your IT team sees the big picture and the tangle of too much tech. Follow their lead to avoid conflicting platforms, overly complicated programs, and technology that complicates an already stressful situation.
2. Keep communication shorter but more frequent.
- Using technology to communicate creates unique problems. People tune out on long video meetings. Body language and tone of voice get lost on text and emails. Misperceptions can cause real damage if left unchecked.
- Try to double the frequency of your communication but cut the length in half. Shorten your meetings, emails, texts, but increase the frequency. The more frequent check-ins will prevent any miscommunications from taking you off-course for too long.
3. Try to stick with one chat platform.
- Use the internal communication tools you’ve been using. If you used Slack or G-Chat or Teams before COVID-19 – stick with them. Now is not the time to fix what wasn’t broken.
- Try not to force anyone to have to download countless new tools to learn and monitor.
4. Pick one video platform.
- Zoom is all the rage right now – but GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, even FaceTime are options. Facebook is even launching a free video tool. Pick the one that you and the people in your organization are most comfortable using, and stick with it.
- There’s a high level of anxiety in using a new video platform. No one wants to look foolish on camera while they are poking around the screen and keyboard trying to figure out how to turn their mic. Familiar is your friend right now.
5. Thank your IT team. And encourage your people to do the same.
- Your IT pros are now in the midst of everything. They are support stars. And they are probably feeling more than a little stretched right now. Keep them engaged with things that are not all help-desk related. Ask them for input and ideas. They are exposed to every aspect of your company right now and see both opportunities and vulnerabilities.
- Welcome their input. Use their perspective to protect your blind spots.