• Kamryn Kershaw

Staying Engaged Virtually

Are you looking for how to stay engaged virtually? This post is all about how to stay engaged.

Although the pandemic is finally beginning to wane, videoconferencing is poised to remain a staple of our day-to-day work lives. Applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made work possible throughout the pandemic; however, many companies are realizing the value in expanding upon remote opportunities. Smaller office spaces, talent acquisition from across the world—the list goes on. Since videoconferencing isn’t going anywhere, how do we stay engaged with only ourselves and a computer screen in an otherwise empty room?

This post is all about staying engaged virtually.

How to Stay Engaged Virtually:

Get rid of the cell phone. First of all, the single greatest distraction for myself is the cell phone. Although I say, “I’ll just respond to this one text,” I’ll almost certainly find myself going down the rabbit hole of responding to all my texts and checking my email, among other things. Next thing I know, ten minutes will have passed, and I’ll have no idea what is happening around me. So, the first thing I do before starting a zoom meeting is simple. I put the phone on silent and move it out of arms reach. Eliminating the cell phone, however, may not be enough.

Go full screen. Our personal computers might be just as big of a distraction as our cell phones. Emails, texts, photos, and browsing the web—our computers can do it all. Not only can they do it all, but you can also do it all while appearing to be looking directly into the camera. Close the internet browser, close the email, and go full screen.

The phone is gone, and the computer is strictly being used for zoom, now what? It really is just you and the screen at this point. What’s to stop you from zoning out? Grab a pen, grab some paper or a notebook, and write. Write down anything. Write keynotes from the presentation. Write questions you may have for after the presentation. Just write something that keeps your mind engaged on the topic at hand.

Plan ahead. Now that you have a plan, putting away the phone and putting zoom in full screen, finish it. Make sure you bring everything you need to the meeting, whether that be notes, a notebook, or even a bottle of water. If you have to get up to leave the room, you’re going to miss something. The further behind you fall, the harder it is to pay attention.

I messed up and I’m lost, now what? Let’s say you did leave the room to go grab the coffee you forgot, or maybe you just zoned out. Ask a question! There’s no point in being in the meeting if you don’t know what’s going on. Ask a question to catch up or get yourself back on track. The longer you wait, the farther behind you’re going to fall behind. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed; no one will mind helping you get back on the right track. In fact, there are definitely going to be others on the call who will appreciate you asking!

Face-to-face interaction is much more engaging, and we are hopefully approaching a sense of normalcy in the coming months. However, Zoom isn’t going anywhere—pandemic or no pandemic—so we need to be prepared to adjust ourselves to this type of workplace environment moving forward. The seclusion of remote work allows for many distractions; however, most others are in the same position as you. By slightly adjusting our habits on our videoconferences, we can all create a more effective, engaging online environment

This post was all about staying engaged virtually.

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