Remote Facilitation Tactics because Coronavirus has you WFH

Fear of the Coronavirus got you working from home? Congrats on having a job where you have this luxury. And tech infrastructure to pull this off. Now let's make the most of it.

Shaking hands isn't even an option when your visual channel with the world is a circle above a rectangle. Not even foot taps. You could do an elbow bump, Instead, I recommend the following. Note the theme of this blog post: connecting will take a little more effort.

Before You Even Begin

Web conferencing is an unnatural experience. Let's work through the, "Can you hear me now?" and the "Can you see me OK?"

  • be an expert in the web conferencing software: This is your job now. This is how you interact with your fellow co-workers. If you are a Scrum Master, or facilitator, or host, or whoever's running this meeting, this is especially true. Take the time. Then be a good human and educate others. Know the software well enough so you can help others live.

  • share all connection info: Beforehand, yes, share the link, but also any phone options, so folks can dial in. I get better audio quality from phoning in. Plus, if there's an issue with the network, the video can go down, but we can keep talking. Don't forget to share non-US phone numbers.

  • arrive early: Get the technical difficulties out of the way. Maybe you need to tweak your audio settings... or tweak your video settings... or restart the program... or switch browsers... or re-download & re-install the program... or restart your computer... or the network is slow.

  • turn on video: Web conferencing has a lower communication bandwidth than in-person meetings, so use all the tools at your disposal to facilitate communication. My original draft of this post has me employing swear words to emphasize this point... it's a no-brainer... if you have video, use it. DO. IT. Get at least a shirt on. Your hair is fine. That stubble is a good look. This is work, not the red carpet. Also, what's behind you isn't a distraction - it's a gift. That window out to Rt. 60 is a window into your life, one you are sharing with us with ease, a conversation starter, and possibly historic.