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  • Jerry Phillips

Flexible And Understanding

The work from home necessity has created challenges that we all have had to adjust to. When multiple people are working from home there are issues with bandwidth. Especially with video conferences. There is nothing more disruptive to a meeting than when your screen freezes. We experienced the joys of this earlier this week.

My grandson’s nanny isn’t available this week, so upon request, my wife and I drove to St. Louis from Austin to help. We both can work from any location if we have internet available. It is a joy to be with our family especially when we don’t get to see them regularly. We are happy to come here and see our grandson and yes, his parents…

The challenge is with the bandwidth of their internet. Last evening, we had four people using the internet at the same time. I was doing a video conference, so I was the data hog. I froze up and had to reconnect three separate times. Fortunately, the team I was working with were very understanding. I know we are all getting used to background noise and views that aren’t always professional. But how do you plan for the video freeze?

I’m aware of the challenges working here now. My solution is to let the group I’m working with know up front that I’m challenged with the data draw. I cover what we will do if we do freeze. We may freeze video, but we can use telephone connections to keep the conversation going. Flexibility and understanding (and forgiveness) are key elements to being respectful and productive. My best option is to find another location that has internet access. Coffee shops used to be an option. Now I’m especially grateful for the extended family in St. Louis. Kathy offered her house as a quiet place to hold my calls and I’m taking advantage of it.

How are you being flexible and understanding in your business meetings? I’m open to additional suggestions. The pandemic has changed how we work. I’m hopeful that we can get back to in person meetings at some point, but I know that we can be just as productive with video conferences in most situations.

I recently read an article that pointed out things that we used to take for granted, but no longer have access to. The gist of the article was how will we remember what to do when we can meet in person without a mask again. How will we react to being able to attend a ballgame or concert? I look back on the past year and think about the changes we have made and what we do without thinking now. I believe we will adapt again. Flexible and understanding. Keep the positives!

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