Preparing Your Household for Virtual Meetings

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Summary: Being a professional and a parent in this current workplace climate presents challenges galore! One of the biggest challenges to navigate is meetings with clients, coworkers, teams and executives. Let’s discuss how you can prepare your household to efficiently host and attend virtual meetings. 

This current work environment is in a major transition, with many professionals looking at the hybrid office as the new normal – at least for the foreseeable future. This presents added challenges for professional parents who are juggling children on top of where to create their WFH office space. When speaking with remote Executive Assistants who are also parents, one of the most difficult tasks to complete at home, while still on the clock, is video calls.

So how do you prepare an energetic household for such things? Here we will be discussing 5 tips for managing your productivity in meetings, while being clocked in both as a parent and a professional. 

  • Stop Multitasking

As a parent you naturally gravitate towards multitasking – after all, it’s what you are doing constantly. While that’s a great way to get meals on the table or coordinate all the busy schedules for the kids, it’s a skill that you must press the “pause button” on when it comes to your calls. You should be present, ready to deliver or record any important information – you must stay focused for that allotted time.

  • Take Breaks

An article from Forbes says that taking a break is the most productive thing you can do – and it’s true! Our brains need a rest. You may think that you are being more productive if you plow through your work without stopping, scheduling call after call. In reality your brain power will start to dwindle, resulting in less productivity and focus during your meetings. 

  • Turn the Camera Off

Although it’s wonderful to have technology such as Zoom and similar video meeting platforms to keep us connected and collaborating during this past year and a half,  increased screen time results in a risk for overstimulation. If you find yourself in the middle of a meeting and you need to turn the camera off for a minute, just let the other meeting participants know and just take a moment. We are human, we all need a break from the bright screen sometimes. 

  • Value Your Off-Screen Moments

With our transitions to working remotely and entering this new hybrid office environment, we have become more dependent on our devices – phones, computers, etc. Be mindful of the amount of time you are spending in front of a screen and make sure to clear out time blocks where your screens are far from you – especially when you are a parent professional. Not only do you need time and space from the screens, your children need time with you. Make it special, make it focused on them. It will benefit you one hundred times over. 

  • Practice Self-Advocacy 

This past year and a half has been a lot. Not that we should keep leaning on that crutch, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed it’s important to know that it’s valid. Now more than ever. When you find that you are having difficulty keeping things in order, focusing and being productive, it is important to take charge of your well-being and advocate for yourself. Communication is key. If you need a personal day to recharge or you need some guidance or resources to help manage your workload and your meetings, communicate that honestly to your Executive.