Meet via Zoom, phone or in-person?
Frank and I will be Zooming in the morning.
There was a time when that statement would have drawn quizzical looks and, in all likelihood, some snide comments. No more. Today that company name has reached the level of brand penetration that compares only to Kleenex and some other brands that have become household names for an entire category.
Have a virtual day.
The more I though about how one product has come to dominance because of the Coronavirus the more my mind began to delve into how we may be ready for a spread of that virtual acceptance to all our approaches to business.
What if, at 8:00 AM your phone chimed and presented this message:
8 to 8:30 E-mail
8:30 to 10 Planned phone calls
10 to 12 Team Brainstorming
1 to 2 Video Call, file attached
2 to 4 File work
4 to 5 Chat with coworkers
5 Outa here for a beer.
All of us are more comfortable with icons than you may think. I’d be willing to bet that most of you didn’t need the translation to understand most of that schedule. Take that a step further and consider how quickly you and your colleagues could be ready for your day using the same icons all the time.
If you are working from home and using a virtual assistant/scheduler this could be the front end of a cloud-based system to keep you on track.
Imagine a complete connection
As I’ve reported here, I now work with a Virtual Assistant. Cristy is located in the Philippines. I work a 10-hour schedule from 8 AM to 6 PM Pacific. She works an 8-hour schedule from 2 PM to 10 PM Pacific. For her that is night-time. She goes to breakfast when I tuck it in for the night. We meet Monday through Friday at 2:00 PM Pacific to review what needs to be done and at 6:00 PM to confirm the day’s work and check signals on the following day’s schedule.
Microsoft Teams makes it work
You can put your whole team into the system and assure real communication. Audio calls, Video calls. Chat that is like texting on steroids (Those of you, like me, that prefer typing to thumbing will love this!) The ability to share files, edit and annotate so everyone can see them. Huge amounts of cloud-based storage. And it is always being improved and uses the familiar Microsoft suite of products.
It turned this solos mind around.
I stopped collaborating on a regular basis when I left the Ad Agency business in 1990. When pushed to do so by colleagues I refused. I felt the tools were clunky and having worked with creative development found business types a little boring. But collaborating with a young lady half a world away has brought back that wonderful feeling of finding solutions to problems from a different slant.
In one month her recommendations and implementation have increased my blog following four fold. My Linked In comments and approaches are at record levels. And Facebook by which I’m totally eluded is beginning to be a place I visit because other folks are visiting me. That will continue and increase next month when we add even more video to the equation.
Will I operate more virtually coming out of the Pandemic? I already am. What about you? There is no turning back.
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.