The look on the CEO’s face was priceless.
I just told his executive board that I want them to start each morning meeting by showing each other what they were having for breakfast. I could see him thinking that bringing me to consult for his team might have been a mistake.
I wasn’t joking. I insisted.
Fast forward 4 years and this rule is firmly in the company’s procedure as the opening question everyone had to answer in their Remote Working Wednesday meeting.
While we all use Skype to connect with family and friends across the globe, many companies neglect to take advantage of this powerful platform for their business.
The common concern is that connecting with customers over Skype “sends the wrong message.” Or that “Skype is fine to call mom in another country, but not ok to call a customer.” The reality is that businesses across the world are already finding real success through video conferencing with Skype.
Here are some of the advantages of using Skype in your business:
Save Time have a Meeting
I was once asked to board a plane, fly to London from South Africa (about a 9-hour flight), have a 1-hour meeting and then fly back again. Sheer madness!
I suggested that instead of incurring the costs and wasting precious hours on a plane and in airports and in traffic, we could open Skype and have the exact same meeting. In fact, with Skype’s Screen Sharing facility, I was able to present my PowerPoint presentation just as I would have done if I was in the room. And yes, it was a winning pitch and everyone was happy with the efficiency.
No plane ride, no costs incurred.
When businesses use an outsourced provider to manage services such as social media marketing or start software outsourcing for your business right now, there is a fear that there isn’t a way to build that relationship with the company. Everyone is working in isolation and only engaging via emails and phone calls.
This is easily overcome by replacing the voice conference calls with Skype.
The Remote Worker
Many companies are starting to realize that allowing their employees to work from home does not mean that employees work less. In fact, remote workers show an increases their job satisfaction which naturally leads to being more productive.
Just as with outsourcing, it can be challenging to keep an office relationship and engagement beyond emails and instant messages. This is where once again Skype can assist.
Therefore, I implement a Wednesday Breakfast Meeting where all remote workers join a video conference session. The meeting starts with that very important question “What are you having for breakfast?” which sets the friendly tone for the meeting and breaks the feeling of not being part of the team.
So in Summary:
In the olden days when friends emigrated, that was usually the last time you spoke with them until they returned for a visit. International calls were expensive, and using that rotary-phone to dial international numbers was a nightmare.
Today we live in a world where at a touch of a button, you chat with friends from across the globe. There is no reason why this convenience cannot be translated over to the business world.