Tag Archives: At work

Conference Calls – Save Time and Money, and Get What You Want!

call-meThe mere mention of the word ‘meeting’ can make you let out a little inner groan. All that time spent sitting around tables discussing and debating things is frustrating and often a little bit pointless.

Unless the meeting is properly chaired and there’s a dedicated agenda and minutes, it’s just seen as a waste of time by many members of staff. Workplaces are stressful places to be in and it’s in no small measure to do with meetings. They have a habit of using up precious time with delegates leaving the room feeling no more clued up than when they arrived. Meetings are a drain on a company’s finances: expensive catering needs to be supplied and everyone’s travel expenses taken care of.

However, meetings do have their benefits. Organised properly they can focus people’s thinking, and there’s definitely a lot to be gained from getting a collective opinion on company strategy. There’s no getting away from it – meetings need to take place. There’s no valid reason however, for them requiring everyone to meet at the same venue. The obvious solution is to set up telephone or video conference calls, and here’s why:

What Is a Conference Call?

A conference call is a meeting that takes place over the phone using a dedicated conference App. This allows multiple people to dial in, listen and take part in conversations. It’s a great way for everybody to take part in the meeting without having to get to the same place. Whether they’re on the train using a Bluetooth headset, working from home, or even sitting on a beach in Spain, they can have their say!

The Technology Is No Longer A Barrier

Sometimes, mangers can forget that conference calling isn’t a difficult thing to set up. With the rise of Skype and the smartphone, you don’t need to pay for extra IT Services to schedule remote meetings. Services like Google Hangouts allow you to conduct a visual meeting or “webinar” with no costs for setting up the service at all.

Conference Call Etiquette

As with all meetings there is a certain etiquette applied to conference calls. One person needs to chair the meeting so that everybody gets a chance to have their say. The chair will invite everyone to voice their opinion. Quite often, in a voice only call, the person speaking will say their name before they make a comment just so everybody is clear on who has said what. This is also helpful to the person taking the minutes of the meeting.

Who Can Take Part?

Anybody with a phone can take part! It just takes one person to organise it. They will send out an email to everyone stating what date and time the meeting will take place and people will confirm their ‘attendance’.

For video conferences nowadays you may utilise your organisation’s facilities or just do a video conference with a software solution right from your desktop.

Conference calls are a fuss-free way of conducting meetings without all the hassle that goes alongside them. Expenses will be lower and people will find themselves with a lot more time on their hands to follow up the actions from the meeting. It’s becoming a more and more popular way of communicating across offices.

Do you like conference calls? Or don’t? Why not share your experiences with us in the comment section below.

About the Author

Harry Price is a guest blogger and entrepreneur. He is a personal trainer and an animal right’s activist.

This Is The Office Of The Future

Look into the future office

Image by EG Focus

The office of the future. The concept in itself is enticing, but what features will become customary of the modern design and how will it impact on productivity and general wellbeing? Current designs are perfectly good enough for present-day needs, with some embracing some unconventional decor which is thought to stimulate the creative mind. Future designs are however likely to profit from the inevitable technological progression of the future.

3D Printers

The ingenious 3D printer. The technique used involves the production of a three-dimensional object from a digital model. A large growth in their sales has seen a substantial drop in their price and a consequential rise in their commercial use.

3D printers can be used to virtually recreate anything, for example, draft product models for promotional use, and can be very handy if your business deals with the real items rather than virtual sales. It can mean an easier design and testing process, which could decrease the time to market, reducing the overall expenditure as a consequence.

Standing-up Desks

Recent research has shown that being seated for much of the day can increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as having negative effects on your posture. Office desks that require you to stand are a great initiative and are becoming increasingly more popular as more organisations try to fit back against lifestyle of physical inactivity.

There are now a large range of standing workstations in versatile designs for businesses that have shown a willingness to invest in the standing desk trend.

Robotic Technology

With respect to the prevalence of robots, today’s office is a far cry from the office of the future, which is likely to boast sophisticated robotic technology that will take task automation and productivity to a whole new level. A robotic future will allow employees to work remotely from home whilst still participating in the same human interactions of the office.

Although it is expensive to equip entire offices with technology of this kind, it boasts a highly modern approach to videoconferencing and newer designs are becoming increasingly more adept; automatically docking themselves to nearby charging stations and easily synchronising with employee schedules.

Touchscreen Panels

The offices of the future are very likely to incorporate touchscreen panels and interactive displays on tables and walls, completely eliminating the need for dials, keyboards and mouses. It is thought to be more space efficient, faster and to encourage digital productivity.

The simple swipe or tap of a screen will see you using an easier wireless setup to collaborate ideas with clients and co-workers as well as allowing simple adjustments of the office lighting and acoustics. Again, the growing use of touchscreens has led to a decrease in the marginal cost of touchscreen technology and hence its usage is now more viable.

Living Green Walls

Peculiar as it may sound, living green walls are simply walls that are covered in greenery or vegetation and can be incorporated as office partitions or as an alternative to the conventional unadorned office wall. As well as the foliage being a tasteful visual display, interior green walls offer a number of other benefits.

They are thought to combat Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), where occupants of a building experience acute health discomforts due to poor indoor air quality. It is expected to encourage the rate of fresh air exchange and discourage allergenic mould growth. Green walls are relatively low maintenance with automatic irrigation systems and are far more water-efficient in contrast to conventional ground plant growth. It eliminates the potential for soil-borne pathogens, are cleaner and can also boast beneficial insulating properties. Whatever your office preferences, the vertical garden fad is taking the office design by storm and is becoming ever more prevalent.

The office of the future is sure to contain features that are absent in the traditional office design.

What are your ideas with respect to the modern office of today? Comment below!