Don’t make your meeting a snoozer

Are meetings a “soul sucking waste of time,” as a columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian suggests?

They could be if they’re unproductive, boring, too many of them, or all of the above. The solution may lie in technology, if used properly. “Technology is essential to innovating the conference call and boosting staff engagement,” according to a Harvard Business Review column.

Video, for instance, may enhance “connectedness between participants” and help them see reactions to one another’s ideas.3 Specific online or video conferencing features that may improve overall engagement include the ability to view multiple video feeds, screen sharing capabilities, document editing, or whiteboard tools and mobile accessibility.

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Work-Life Balance is a Marathon – Not a Sprint

I wake up each morning at 4:30 a.m., often hitting the pavement for a run. It’s early, but these mornings motivate me and are a great time to think. And the other day, I realized that starting my day with a workout is a critical part of achieving the work/life balance that my family and I need.

I also realized this balance is definitely not a sprint, but a daily and personal marathon that takes practice, discipline and thoughtful planning.

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Stable Companies Gain a Competitive Edge with Online Meetings

Not everyone wants to become a business behemoth. Some small and medium businesses (SMBs) that have carved out their own niche in a competitive business scene are content with continuing on their current trajectory.

Stable businesses like these rely heavily on the strength of customer relationships and meetings are their “go-to” way to foster them. And with good reason; according to IDG Research Services, 43 percent of respondents said meetings improve customer/client service. But since face-to-face meetings pose inevitable challenges, more SMBs are leveraging online meetings to complement – or completely replace – in-person gatherings.

What challenges do SMBs face when it comes to in-person meetings and how are online meetings alleviating them? Get the answers to these questions – and other rich insights – in a new infographic from IDG Research Services.

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Online Meetings Enable Better Business Execution

For busy executives and managers tasked with overseeing business operations, in-person meetings can have many benefits, from strengthening customer relationships to increasing productivity.

But these types of meetings also have challenges. In a survey of company decision-makers with fewer than 250 employees, IDG Research Services found that 36 percent of respondents found slow decision-making was an issue in face-to-face meetings; another 44 percent cited achieving a work/life balance as another problem in regards to scheduling them.

With a more dispersed workforce and having to rise to the challenge of meeting employee demand for better collaboration methods, leaders are relying more on online meetings and videoconferencing solutions. But just how do these types of meetings enable more collaboration and efficiently foster better communication?

In a new data-rich infographic, IDG Research Services and Cisco WebEx invite you to take a closer look – and gain a deeper understanding – of how online meetings can enable business execution.

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Better Business Opportunities through Online Meetings

Meetings are a necessity of business. They provide employees a platform to enhance relationships achieve goals, improve productivity and more. But if your team isn’t equipped with the right tools to meet remotely, those meetings can mean missed opportunities. The right online meeting and video conferencing solutions can mean better outcomes for employees and the organization as a whole.

Today’s work environment creates a new set of challenges for the professionals responsible for choosing the tools that keep a business running. Online meeting tools need to be easy to manage, but also fit the pressures of a mobile workforce, rising demands on productivity and the need to keep to costs down.

Work/life balance also plays a role. A recent survey from IDG Research Services and Cisco WebEx revealed that 44% of those responsible for delivering resources to their co-workers mentioned achieving a healthy work/life balance as a top challenge to holding in-person meetings.

When employees are enabled to do their jobs better, businesses can overcome obstacles like poor productivity and slow-decision making. And the most agile companies can use these surface-level benefits to propel their business forward to new opportunities, more revenue and higher levels of achievement.

In a newly released white paper, “Enabling Business Opportunities with Online Meetings and Video Conferencing,” takes a deeper dive into the minds of professionals who hold key resource positions within their teams, the challenges in-person meetings present them, and the endless possibilities online meetings and video conferencing platforms enable.

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CureSeq Finds its Online Meeting Cure

For most of us, miscommunication can be a nuisance. For CureSeq, it can mean serious consequences for the medical teams the business serves.

A California-based company, CureSeq provides solutions that help identify cancer and other disease-causing mutations. With a commitment to a three-day turnaround on test results for global clients and prospects, their team depends heavily on online meetings to communicate quickly. After trying several video conferencing services, CureSeq leaders were unsatisfied with the options. They wanted a stable, reliable platform that would support meetings with attendees from all over the globe while maximizing their smaller staff and budget.

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20 Ways Online Meetings Are Changing the Face of Business

What thoughts come to mind when you think of meetings? Commuting to the office in heavy traffic or driving to the airport to catch a flight to meet with your team in-person?

IDG recently asked industry leaders, and it turns out that online meetings are overwhelmingly popular because it saves them time. They found that voice-only calls can rob leaders of the ability to read body language or put a face to the voices on the phone. And in-person meetings can create undesirable travel costs and logistical nightmares.

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3 Ways to Meet Remotely

You have choices when you meet remotely today. But is the way you’re choosing to meet serving you best? Let’s take a look at some options: video calling, online meetings, and video conferencing.

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Infographic: Online Meetings Give Smaller Businesses a Big Boost

No matter the size of your business, good meetings are essential for daily collaboration, developing relationships and getting things done. But for smaller businesses, a single meeting with the right investor, partner or customer can be a complete game-changer — or deal breaker.

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What Are Your Cisco WebEx Habits?

In our latest #WebExPoll Series, we asked our Twitter community about their online meeting habits. The results are in and we learned some fun facts!

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Make Working Across Time Zones Work for You

Let’s be honest. The thought of taking meetings at 5:00 in the morning or 11:00 in the evening is not a concept many are accustomed to. But the traditional “9-to-5” work schedule is on its way out the window, thanks to smart online meeting tools and an increased focus on hiring the best of the best, no matter where they are in the world.

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Screen Sharing and the Creative Process

The creative process usually begins with a brainstorming session: lots of people pulled into a meeting, blue sky thinking, ideas flying back and forth and building on each other and all of it being captured on a whiteboard. Then the group disperses and we’re left to develop our individual contributions—in my case, copy. I go back to my cave and begin to create. After I generate a series of options and narrow those down to a handful of the strongest ones, I present those to my team leader. We set up a meeting and I screen share — and this is where the rubber really meets the road.

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Infographic: Can Remote Work Help the Environment?

Here at Cisco WebEx, we are big fans of remote work. It allows businesses to bring the best teams together, no matter where they are located. And people working remotely often report more job satisfaction and better productivity.

But the benefits don’t stop there. According to Global Workforce Analytics, remote work can also have a positive impact on the global environment. When we work from our home offices, take a call from the local coffee shop or choose to host a video conference instead of flying out for a meeting, we can save the environment from harmful emissions – and the headache of traveling.

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