Let’s Play Conference Call BINGO!
It was March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic turned the workplace on its head. Suddenly, travel was limited or cancelled completely. Employees who had never worked remotely found themselves working from home for the first time, sometimes while juggling caregiving responsibilities. Workplace meetings were held virtually. The pandemic has changed the way work gets done, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it.
We are now well into year two of the pandemic and many of us are working on the hybrid model, half the time working from home and half in the office. How hard can it be? You’ve done this for months on end, you’ve got this.
Your kids are watching television for the tenth time today, but you don’t care, because at least they are quiet.
You’ve got your coffee made, and you figured out how to use the mute button, just in case.
Things are going fine halfway through the meeting until one event triggers a chain reaction.
Let the Conference Call Bingo begin!
This revolutionary new game (that no one knows you’re playing) makes conference calls fun.
One of your kids is bugging you for something that they need right now. So, you mute the conversation and move your head out of the camera to speak to them, but you forgot you were already muted and instead turned off the mute instead. There’s a square for that!
You step away, thinking the call can go on without you for 30 seconds but forgot that, from the waist down, you’re still in your jammies, treating the others on the call to an eye full on your way out of the chair!
But you’re oblivious. You don’t realize any of this until you get back, put on your headphones, and go to unmute and find out the truth. You were already unmuted. They’ve heard it all! Not only that, but you see a message from a co-worker complimenting you on your PJ pants. Another square!
You’re Not Alone, the truth is, that kind of thing happens to everyone.
No matter how many good intentions you may enter them with, videoconferencing calls always seem to unravel in one way or another. Whether it’s random noises in the background because someone didn’t mute themselves or a pet or child crashing the party, online meetings are never quite the same as normal, in-person meetings.
It is important to have a good sense of humour about these things because getting frustrated doesn’t change the fact that, right now, both life and work are happening at home. According to Lindsay Crafford from GoToMeeting, it’s best to just relax. The bottom line is if you’re relaxed, your body language will take care of itself. If you’re stressed about being on a video call, that stress will come through in your body language. “Your body language says a lot about you and what you’re feeling. And during video conferences, you can’t hide your body language. So, make sure your body is saying the right things by staying relaxed and engaged,” Crafford says.
Since there’s a good chance online meetings will become an ongoing part of everyday work life, it’s probably a good idea to embrace it and adapt…and have your BINGO card at the ready!
PS: Happy to share a Bingo card to perk up your next meeting. Just let us know!