Are you also working from home at the moment? We spoke to Lotte Nystrup Lund, an expert on meetings between people and technology. She has shared her top tips on how to hold online meetings and how to be as effective as possible while working from home.
The Nordic countries are taking increasing precautions with respect to managing the spread of Covid-19, and this involves more and more people working from home. But how does that actually work in practice? And can you take advantage of your experience of physical meetings when talking to people digitally?
We spoke to Lotte Nystrup Lund, CEO of the consulting firm Futurista, who coaches companies and managers on sustainable leadership and how to achieve sustainable results. Lotte has a degree in cultural and social analysis, and the history of ideas. She told us how online meetings affect us, and she shared her top tips on how to conduct them in the best possible way.
Lotte’s 5 top tips for online meetings!
- Be human, even though the room is digital. You can (also) engage in some small talk at the beginning of your digital meeting – in times like these it may well be particularly welcome.
- Use the chat function if there are many participants. It can get a bit disorderly if everyone is talking at the same time, and if there are lots of you it’s basically impossible. Designate a main speaker, but allow the other participants to comment via chat.
- Prepare for the meeting. It takes a lot of people quite some time to get to grips with all the technology – camera, lighting, sound, etc. So, make sure to check that everything is working a few minutes before so that the meeting can start on time.
- Keep meetings short. We get tired and lose focus much more quickly during digital meetings compared to physical meetings.
- Digital meetings can be used for more than just business. How about a digital dinner party or some after-work drinks? Maybe you could reach out to someone in your network who is alone, be they young or old? Or add some variety to your dinner guests, after a few too many meals with your own family of late.
Lotte also kindly shared her ideas on how to approach weeks of working from home and what she thinks about the future of digital meetings!
Lotte, how do you go about working from home?
“Right now, I’m working on a big analytical project that requires a lot of preparation time. In order to be able to work efficiently and stay focused, I use the Pomodoro Technique. That basically involves being super focused for 25 minutes, and then having a well-deserved break for 5 minutes doing something that is really relaxing, regardless of whether that involves running around the house a few times, eating a carrot or going outside to enjoy a spot of sunshine. There are several apps and websites for Pomodoro, so just google it to find out more.”
Is there anything you miss during periods like this when you’re working from home?
“What’s cool is that I have for many years been leading a project about the future of meetings, and I have repeatedly stated that there is something special about physical meetings. And that digital meetings are an important and obvious tool, but that they can never quite replace what physical meetings have to offer. I’ve never realised before just how spot-on those words are. I’m a very sociable person who develops, innovates and inspires together with other people. So, I miss being sociable – properly – in addition to being digitally social, which of course I am at the moment.”
Now that you’ve been forced into the digital meeting structure – how do you see it developing in the future?
“Many people and organisations have been so quick in learning to make use of digital meeting techniques that have long been available to us. That shift is something that will be a great lesson to benefit people after the crisis. But a lot of research shows the importance of continuing to have physical meetings. Perhaps the intense use of digital meeting platforms during this time will help us appreciate physical meetings in a whole new way.
What do you think we are going to learn from this crisis?
“Being better at using digital tools. That our health is important and should be prioritised. That we human beings love being together and that we miss that very much when we can’t. That everyday life – as it was before all of this – is really good.”
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