The Food Safety Company: Lockdown Tips for Zoom and Virtual Training

The spread of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented measures, first by governments and now businesses, as they try to limit the spread of the virus. In addition to restricting travel and cancelling large events, a growing number of companies are now rethinking their ways of working.

While certain workers such as medical, essential retail and manufacturing staff are still working on-site, the majority of the remaining workforce in Ireland is now required to work remotely where possible.
Working remotely means adapting to a new environment, with each employee battling a unique set of challenges. Employers must understand the unique demands of their team and support them in the successful transition to remote working.

Company culture can be challenging to maintain with a dispersed workforce, so it is important to keep remote employees engaged and connected in a way that’s in-line with your overall corporate culture.

Utilising new technologies such as Skype, MS Teams or Zoom will ensure you stay connected with each member of the team. While email and telephone calls are important, with video, it becomes easier to see the more nuanced elements of communication that are happening. Video calls are an excellent way of ensuring relationships remain strong between managers, employees, clients, and suppliers when face-to-face meetings are not possible.


7 Useful Tips when using Zoom
  1. Ensure you have a reliable internet connection, your laptop or computer should be plugged in, appropriate lighting, and a functioning webcam ideally positioned at eye level when seated. A USB connected headset, with built-in microphone will ensure a high standard of sound quality.
  2. Schedule meetings and invite attendees – If you wish to invite others through a calendar, links to Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and Yahoo Calendar are displayed once your meeting has been saved. Alternatively, next to the “join URL” link on this screen, there is an option to “copy this invitation.”
  3. Ensure a professional background free from clutter. Alternatively, you could set up a virtual background, go to the desktop app, “Settings,” and choose “Virtual Background.”
  4. Sharing your screen – When you want to share your screen with other participants in a Zoom meeting, it is a good idea to have everything you will need ready to go. When you click ‘share screen’, you have the option to share your whole screen or share individual applications or documents.
  5. To avoid disruption to other attendees, it is good practice to mute yourself unless you need to speak. This is where keyboard shortcuts can come in useful. If you want to quickly mute and unmute yourself press Alt+M (or Command+Shift+A on a Mac).
  6. One of the lesser-known features in Zoom are the Breakout Rooms which work like breakout groups in a physical seminar or workshop and allow you to split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions. This can be very beneficial for small-group interactions, collaboration, and group-work.
  7. Finally, it is important to remain be “present”, even when not connected physically e.g., listen actively, and take notes to stay focused.