Alex talking on an online meeting

Worried about online meetings? Here are some tips to be prepared and professional

23 September 2020

By Alex Elliott

COVID-19 has changed the way I work in a lot of ways.

I no longer prepare a morning around what time I need to get to the bus stop or train. I prepare it around when I need to be on the computer and what programs I will need open.

I enjoy the ease of this, but I miss working in the office.

These changes have been a little challenging. I needed a little work getting used to online meetings. It can take a little practice, but it is easy to learn.

I have facial recognition blindness and sometimes have trouble putting names to faces. Online meetings are good because you can see the names of the people talking so you know who is talking.

It’s important to prepare for meetings with plenty of time before they start. You need to prepare because it’s hard to prepare once the meeting has started.

You need to treat an online meeting just as you would one in the real world. Though it’s at your home, it’s a professional meeting. So it’s a good work ethic to be professional.

I always give myself plenty of time. I may not need to travel, but to make sure I’m relaxed I get up early. I start work at 9:30, so I wake up around 8:30. This gives me time to comfortably have breakfast and have 30 minutes to gather all my things.

I also need to load up the computer, open a blank word document, get my emails open, and make sure my meeting app is open.

A good tip to remember is that you ought to ‘start work the day before’. This means setting an alarm by your bed and going to bed early to give yourself plenty of rest so you won’t yawn or lose focus during work meetings.

Relax the night before and if possible have an open window with access to fresh air.

Want to be better prepared for your Zoom or Teams meetings? Read our handy checklist for online meetings.

Alex is an Inclusion Projects Worker at the Council for Intellectual Disability.

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