The coronavirus pandemic pushed organizations around the world to turn to remote work. By 2025, 36.2 million Americans may work remotely; an 87% increase over pre-pandemic levels. But some are conceptualizing remote work.

People wonder about whether or not to host another Zoom meeting. Leaders wonder about trying something new and greeting participants with icebreakers. How should professionals proceed with Zoom backgrounds? Is it possible to refine the remote workflow? Get insights right here on Cyber Talk.

Zoom icebreakers

Que the eye-rolling—The reality is that icebreakers can span beyond trust falls and paintball. In the digital domain, business leaders are using them to energize virtual meetings and to foster cohesiveness among meeting participants.

“Companies may say it’s a waste of time to do these kinds of things in tough times,” says Professor Aneil Mishra. “But if companies want a way to jumpstart innovation, team-building exercises can be a real contributor to the long-term success of the company.”

Zoom meeting codes

Zoom meeting codes of conduct vary from one organization to the next. Nonetheless, “There’s just no substitute for good manners in all of our daily interactions, and they’re certainly appreciated more than ever in workplace meetings,” writes the Zoom video communications platform on its blog.

Despite the fact that participants can secretly wear sweatpants, maintaining other office norms sets the stage for productivity.

  • Practice being an excellent meeting host, as you would in the actual office.
  • Ensure that you introduce everyone on the call.
  • Consider forgoing the animated Zoom backgrounds, and select a clean, bright, professionally appropriate virtual zoom background.
  • Try to look at the camera when speaking.

The science of video conference call fatigue

Anecdotally, your colleagues may have mentioned call fatigue. Is that a real thing?

Stanford researchers say that, yes, “Zoom fatigue” or videoconference call fatigue, can stress the body and the mind. Video calls are not the cognitive equivalent of face-to-face meetings. “They require different intellectual muscles,” says Dr. Aaron Balick. For some, this fatigue is a formidable challenge and businesses are taking a stand.

Zoom for business

The internationally known banking firm, Citigroup, has embraced a new Zoom-free Friday tradition. In regards to the pandemic and continual conference calls, “we are all feeling the weariness,” says Citi’s chief executive. Nonetheless, the company’s employees may still be required to participate in audio-only calls with clients and regulators.

Zoom’s CFO recently stated that Zoom tries to limit Zoom fatigue among its own staff by encouraging employees to forgo video calls on Fridays. “We certainly understand that being on a video call all day long can be challenging,” says Steckelberg.

Zoom suggests that staff try out 25 or 55 minute meetings rather than scheduling 30 minute meetings or 60 minute meetings. Alternatively, employees can try out a walking meeting.

Walking meetings

People who increase exercise levels during the day simultaneously increase their capacities to think creatively. Those who engage in walking meetings are 5.25% more likely to report “being creative at their jobs” as compared with those who don’t walk during the day.

How can you master the art of the walking meeting? These tips can help:

  • Opt for a walking meeting when you know that you’ll mostly be listening.
  • Reserve walking meetings for 1:1 calls. Avoid turning them into team outings.
  • To block out the bicyclists, birds and other distractions, consider an audio-only call.
  • Ensure that you have the right equipment. Headphones with a mic are a must.

Beyond mixing up the routine, healthier employees are often happier employees.

The Salesforce Zoom overlay

Salesforce has introduced a new feature that empowers sales teams to improve client interactions. The feature provides information about how quickly meeting participants are speaking. Participants also automatically receive a to-do list at the end of each meeting and can access additional tools.

“For sales people who might find the tool a bit too invasive, you can dial the confidence level of the information up or down on an individual basis, so that you can get a lot of information or a little depending on your needs”, reports TechCrunch.

For more on whether or not to host a Zoom meeting, visit USA Today.