Back to Work – Working from Home – Virtual Meetings

How many people are now settling into the new flexible way of working from home?

No more traveling to attend meetings!

A cartoon of a plane full of passengers waiting on the runway    The captain speaks to them over the radio speakers.  “This is your captain speaking.  Today i will be working from home!”   The passengers faces are full of fear.
A cartoon of the inside of a plane.

I am one of many people that prior to March 2020 regularly sat in cars, trains and buses traveling between 30 minuets and 4 hours to attend work related meetings.

Some of my meetings could last 30 minuets and some bigger events could last for hours.

Now the new normal, is to arrange a meeting via an email or two. Work out which platform ie. Zoom, Teams, Skype or Mobile and then go.

This short story is about my findings, frustrations and work arounds.

Downloading new updates of software.

After six months of on Furlough or as one of my contacts said:

you’ve been on holiday for six months, that has been paid for by tax payers”.

In week one, I had to work my way through hours of software updates. This was followed by the frustration of new improvements and an updated Customer Relationship Management which felt like a complete shake about! I wonder how many other “Work Returners” had similar issues?

By the end of week one, I was back up and running all conversations tools in place. I even had a few hours on you-tube learning how to make the most out of Teams software.

The Work Arounds.

I was also lucky!

Mrs I’ continued to work through the summer and had become an expert with Teams.

She shared many “wise wife words” with me and we had to work out our work arounds.

Mrs I’ is now working from her actual office two days a week and home for the rest.

Her company start each day with a Teams meeting, a nice wellness approach towards the new working patterns, these calls last between 30 minuets and 2 hours.

Her calls to clients can be throughout the day, these are on her mobile.

I try to encourage her to get up, take the call and leave our work studio, #DinningRoomTable.

The majority of her calls are confidential and between us we make sure they are. All I can say is, she is one busy lady.

Usually I end up working upstairs or outside either in our garden or Ilfracombe’s local bandstand.

Please reference my last short story, the Wrong Decision.

My diary took a couple of days to start filling up. Once it did I have found that I now attend far more meetings and by the end of the week I am ready to keep my mouth shut and not speak to a sole.

On interesting observations is that mainly men like to have video chats with the camera on.

I guess that generally males do not need to to put makeup on and if they have not had a shave it doesn’t matter?

“Time to Panic” when you realises you’ve over ran in one meeting.

Most meetings run smoothly, are on time and work is done.

However, in the first few weeks I have missed timed two or three meetings!

The worst is one was, I was upstairs on an internal Teams meeting on my iPad.

This meeting was due to start at 1000 and end at 1030. For some reason it over ran and neither of us was in a rush to end the meeting too. It was over running by 20 minuets. Which could of possibly run on for another hour.

Meanwhile I was supposed to of been in another meeting and I had completely forgotten. The other meeting was on Skype.

Skype works on my laptop downstairs.

Skype’s ringtone is as annoying tone, similar to a hungry cat crying for food.

Imagine, Mrs I’ is downstairs working, at our workstation. She is writing reports after her morning meeting.

My laptop starts that Skype call ringtone. Once, twice and then a third time. As my second meeting was waiting for me to join.

Meanwhile I upstairs discussing world peace in a Teams call. Calmly, not worrying about timings.

My upstairs office is great. The morning Devon sunshine blast through the window. I can watch the world pass by and hold a meeting at the same time.

Mrs I’ is now trying to work through the annoying Skype ringtone sound. My colleague is trying to get hold of me and becoming worried. She sends me a text message on my mobile.

“Are you okay?”

What happened next is possible what happens all over the place..

I read the text, realised the time. Shouted out to the Teams Meeting some random worlds that ended my meeting.

Ran downstairs and joined the Skype call. My excuse was so random that the person had no choice but to laugh and agree.

Why, did I say what I said?

I could of just said I was on another call!

After I had said what I said I had no way of coming back from it. I only hope that neither of my colleagues relise this story is about them.

I said:

“I am sorry I am late, I was having a bad toilet moment”

I think it’s a British thing, why do we think we have to apologies with unchanging statements. I could of simple said my last meeting over ran!

I learnt some valuable lessons, check your diary and do not rely on diary reminders. Do not make stupid excuses and keep a break In-between meeting to allow for over running or a toilet break.

Do you wish to arrange to meet with me?

I am finding that the new home office life is getting better results from both my employer and the companies I represent.

I also would like to offer my Blind Man Roy followers a chance to have a chat. If you do, please message me and we can arrange a meeting.


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