You don't know what you don't know – it applies to all of us. The question is, do you just keep doing things the same way or do you go out of your way to learn newer and better ways to do things? Not everything you learn will be a home run, absolutely, but many of them will.

Let's take meetings. Ugh. So...many... meetings... The higher you move up in management and leadership, the more likely you'll become a giant brain mass...sitting in a chair hour after hour, absorbing data, ideas, questions and problems. Then, you'll walk out of a meeting with a big bucket of to-do's, dates, action items and follow ups.

So, with all those meetings, what can you do to make your professional life a little more bearable? Let's start with the traditional meeting in a conference room, and/or audio-only meetings or conference calls.

You must get up, take your “desk” with you to another room and have your meeting. Either you are 5-10 minutes late, or someone else is. I bet 80% of 2 PM meetings start at 2:10 or 2:15. In the meantime, we have small talk with those that managed to get to the meeting on time – that's fun.

Then after the meeting is over, it's bathroom stops, coffee, and chit-chat with the team. Then you go back to your desk and think – OK, where was I at before I went to that last meeting? You'll spend 10-15 minutes warming up to get back in your "flow".

Do this 2-3-4 times a day and there is a  15-25% chance of my day not being very productive – all the while 3-4 to-do's have piled up from each meeting needing my attention or direction.

I’m dead serious. We used to do that at Xerillion. I'd be working away at an important email and realize I'm about to be late for a meeting – do I finish the email and be late? Do I stop my email and be on time? So many choices.

We have done away with all of that. The only time we use the conference room now is for our all-hands company meetings once a month where we all get together.  Anything else is an online video meeting (everyone MUST turn on their video, by the way....). I'm at my desk, the meeting comes up, I click "join", I wait for people to come in, I continue what I was working on. We go over things, and normally keep notes collaboratively inside Teams and OneNote. Reviewing what we discussed in the last meeting is super easy. After the meeting is over, I click "end". And I'm right back to where I left off.

Add to the fact that when we are having an online meeting, we can easily "throw up" documents or share a desktop – super, super helpful. Yes, you can do it on a conference room display, but it is so much better doing it from your desk.


NOTE: I CAN'T STAND audio only meetings (I.e., traditional conference calls). The video is a MUST to make this work. All of you out there have cameras on your laptops – there is no excuse.

Want to know how this gets even better? When you have a culture of video meetings, if people are in the office or work from home, IT DOESN'T MATTER – everyone is still working the same! It is absolutely the case at Xerillion. Our field engineers are always on the go, and online meetings bring our team together. Have someone on your team working with you in another state or country? Online video meetings WORK THE SAME!  Great voice quality and webcams make it seem like we're all in the same room even when some are on the other side of the country. They never have to miss out. Neither should your team!

It’s a productivity saver. All those minutes saved keep me from losing my momentum with what I’m doing. It’s a no-brainer. Skip the walk to the conference room and host your presentation via a Skype Online Meeting. You’ll have the best quality to host your documents, take notes on a whiteboard, and cover what needs to be covered. Then you’re good to go!

Collaborate anywhere and anytime without needing to be in the same space. You’ll get more done and know you'll get more participation from your team. It is one the easiest things you can do right now, today.

Learn more about Skype for Business here.