Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, video calls and virtual meetings have become the norm—especially for those of us working from home.
But now that many businesses are returning to the office or adopting a flexible work structure for their employees, it’s more important than ever to decide if virtual meetings will stick around.
For law firms and their current and potential clients, virtual meetings can still have their benefits. Whether or not your entire team is back in the office, it may be easier to get in touch with your clients or discuss a case with your staff over a virtual meeting rather than an in-person one. And some may even prefer it—that is if there aren’t constant technical issues, background noises, or interruptions during the video call that make them want to drop early.
Are you thinking about keeping virtual meetings when you go back to the office? Even if you’ve been using video conferencing software over the last year, there are a few things you can do to make the transition go smoothly. Here are the best ways to prepare, according to Steven Chung in his article for Above the Law:
- Decide what virtual meeting platform you want to use, then set it up on your computer. Whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts, choose the right platform for you and your team—then be sure to test it out. You want a video conferencing service that is easy to use and fits your needs, habits, and preferences. It should also allow you to share your screen and display documents, chat with participants, and transfer and download files quickly.
- Skip the virtual background and pick a quiet room to hold the meetings. Even when you’re back in the office, you need a decent space to get your work done and host your meetings. Instead of sitting in front of a distracting bookshelf or motivational poster, an open doorway where someone can walk in, or even a virtual background that can appear tacky, find a room with a blank wall behind you. This will keep the focus on your clients and less on your book collection.
- Make sure everyone has the right software (and it’s already installed before the meeting). Even if you already have the virtual meeting software on your computer, be sure your clients do, too. Send them a reminder email before the meeting and include a tutorial on installing the software if they have trouble. That way, everyone is on the same page, and you can start the meeting on time.
- Be ready if something goes wrong. From bad connections to audio issues, anything can happen during a video call. Fortunately, you can prepare for these contingencies. You should be familiar with the platform you choose and be able to troubleshoot issues. Broken router? Unmuted participant? Power outage? Communicate to everyone that you’re on the case and fixing things as quickly as you can, and if things can’t be resolved during the meeting, reschedule and move to email or a phone call.
Want more tips like this? Read Chung’s full article here.