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Webex March Summary
Webex takes the stage and gets noticed: Our new innovations unveiled

This March was a big month for Webex. Our vision and our hard work is starting to get noticed, and we’re only getting started. Here are a few highlights from a very positive month.

Cisco Live

At Cisco Live, the spotlight fell on Webex as Jeetu Patel, SVP/GM of Security and Applications, joined other Cisco leaders on the virtual stage to outline our vision of using the power of collaboration to build a more inclusive, more connected future.

Be sure to check out all the keynotes and on-demand sessions at ciscolive.com.

Introducing our newest innovations

A few of our newest innovations were highlighted, including:

  • People Insights, an important work/life balance tool that helps workers monitor and manage their own wellbeing.
  • Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS), which pairs IMImobile’s functionality with the all-new Webex Contact Center to provide a robust and responsive customer experience across the entire life cycle.

Read the latest from Javed Khan, SVP/GM, Cisco Collaboration: Turn it Up with Webex! Collaboration Tools That Enable You to Work Your Way

Brand Partnerships

McLaren Racing Formula 1 Team

We found some partners with an inspiring commitment to innovation and speed. Last month, we kicked off a partnership with the legendary McLaren Racing Formula 1 team and we continue the momentum this month with Team DSM, a competitor on pro-cycling’s World Tour circuit.

I’m proud to be able to say that Webex will be working closely with both organizations, providing and integrating our platform and devices into each team’s daily routines – now riders can stay connected with each other, as well as their support staffs and fans, both in and out of competition. Watch the video to learn more about Team DSM:

Elton John AIDS Foundation

At this year’s Oscars, the title of VIP is no longer limited to few celebrities. Everyone who joins us at Elton John’s spectacular Oscar pre-party on April 25th can claim the title themselves. The Elton John AIDS Foundation pre-party is a long-celebrated charity function, and this year the guest list is much more inclusive, as a virtual audience of up to 400,000 donors will be able to attend via Webex. Please visit here for purchase your ticket.

Future Voices

Another campaign we launched which is near and dear to my heart is Future Voices, our new platform highlighting the innovative ways university students and educators are using Webex. Take a look:

PGA of Australia

In Australia, we’re partnering with the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Australia to present The Players Series, an exciting run of tournaments where up-and-coming young amateur golfers join Australia’s leading pros to compete for the same prize purse. Webex technology connects the two groups directly, giving new talent the opportunity to be mentored by their country’s best players.

Welcome to the era of hybrid work

Post-pandemic, the world will certainly look different, and organizations need to rethink how they do business – both with employees and with customers. At Cisco Webex, we strive to reimagine and expand the possibility of collaboration. Our hope is our work will help you and your organization find new opportunity in this shifting new world of hybrid work. Watch a safe return to the office in the era of hybrid work and be sure to stay tuned for more to come!

Cheers,
Aruna

Learn more

Neil Patrick Harris and Dua Lipa Join Elton John and David Furnish for the 29th Annual Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party [Press Release]

Future Voices featuring stories from students and teachers from around the world

Creating Exhilarating and Exciting Experiences with Cisco Webex and McLaren Racing

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Team DSM
WorldTour Team DSM takes to the road with Webex for a new hybrid sports experience

Cisco Webex named official collaboration partner of Team DSM

The passion of the German licensed Team DSM and their vision of ‘Keep Challenging’ inspire millions of cycling fans worldwide. Fresh from winning multiple stages of the Tour de France 2020 and a double podium of the latest Giro d’Italia, Team DSM is one of road cycling’s most exciting young WorldTour teams.

Check out the new official launch video:

I’m honored today to announce a new strategic partnership with Team DSM and to share in their vision of redefining the sport through cooperation and innovation. That includes a future of hybrid sports experiences, and as a proud extension of their team, Webex will provide the platform and devices to be integrated into their daily activities to bridge in-person and virtual experiences.

Team DSM isn’t just a sports team but a big operation and Webex is helping them to manage it.

  • Almost 60 athletes
  • More than 370 racing days during 126 races
  • Over 50 full time staff members
  • 500 bikes, 3 touring cars, 3 trucks, 3 motor homes, 3 vans and 25 cars

New era of hybrid sports and how Team DSM will leverage Webex

Webex will:

  • Seamlessly connect the cyclists from their homes, team camps or race locations tothe large, distributed support staff of coaches, nutritionists, physical therapists, doctors, and of course, family. One of the key things Team DSM was looking for was a secure end-to-end collaboration solution that also includes our devices such as Webex Desk Pros, Webex boards and cameras.
  • Enable R&D experts of the Team to link with the innovation partners like DSM.
  • Enable the team to do pre- and post-race media interviews with riders and opening that exclusive experience to partners, VIPs and fans, providing for more meaningful interaction.

Webex enables an inclusive future for all

At Webex, our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all – by breaking down barriers across geography, language, personality and socio-economic levels to give everyone tools to achieve greater personal expression, as well as build more engaged relationships.

This partnership is a great example of how Webex empowers incredible organizations, like Team DSM, to scale their mission, and vision. We’re thrilled to partner with Team DSM as they reimagine the world of pro cycling. It’s an inspiring vision that we’re proud to be a part of and encourages us, too, to ‘keep challenging’ ourselves.

Cheers,
Aruna

Learn more about the new strategic partnership to drive collaboration between Team DSM and the future of sports [Press Release]

Learn more

Scaling glamour. Delivering hope. Our partnership with the Elton John Aids Foundation

Future Voices featuring stories from students and teachers from around the world

Creating Exhilarating and Exciting Experiences with Cisco Webex and McLaren Racing

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Elton John Aids Foundation
Scaling glamour. Delivering hope. Our partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

You’re invited to the Academy Awards Pre-Party to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation! Tickets for the party can be purchased on Ticketmaster

The Oscars is, of course, an iconic awards show that attracts a yearly audience of millions. It’s also the occasion of glamorous entertainment industry parties and events that offer their own distinct allure. I’m excited to announce that Webex is partnering with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to make this year’s festivities more inclusive – though no less glamorous.

Webex hosts pre-show special open to supporters

On the evening of April 25th, the night of this year’s historic virtual Oscars ceremony, Webex will be sharing one of the most iconic pre-parties of the awards season live with film fans far beyond the confines of Hollywood. The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Pre-Party has always been an exclusive, Super-A-list event: an exclusive draw for celebrities and their VIP guests. Now, through the power of Webex, all the glamour and spectacle of this pre-party will be available live and online. The party is inclusively open to a much wider virtual audience: people willing to provide financial support to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Every donation goes towards supporting AIDS awareness and research.

This year’s event will be hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris, alongside Elton John and David Furnish, and features a full evening of entertainment, including a performance by GRAMMY-winning artist Dua Lipa. But it’s not just about spectacle: this particular Oscar pre-party has always been about delivering hope. Every year since 1992, Elton John has hosted the party to raise money for his AIDS Foundation. AIDS is still with us today with 38 million people living with HIV globally. And this year, the Foundation focus on raising money for at-risk young people living with HIV, specifically.

Webex helps to scale the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s mission

Historically, this private event has been held onsite at the Oscars and had been limited to 1,000 guests. This year, the party is moving off-site in a serious way: through a special arrangement with Webex, this year’s fete will be hosted an unprecedented four times to accommodate different time zones and regions’ Oscar broadcasts. The “guest list” in 2021 has been expanded to accommodate 100,000 guests per region. This opens up the possibility of having as many as 400,000 attendees. Every one of you will now have an opportunity to be included in this event brought to you by Webex.

We’re honored and humbled to be part of this partnership: for us, it makes a lot of sense. At Webex, our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all – by breaking down barriers across geography, language, personality and socio-economic levels to give everyone tools to achieve greater personal expression, as well as build more engaged relationships. The pre-party is a great example of how Webex empowers incredible organizations like The Elton John AIDS Foundation to scale their mission to collaborate with a broader range of interested – and interesting – people.

Webex and the future of hybrid events

While it’s true that humans will never stop meeting in person, we believe that the future of human interaction is hybrid, with a genuine sense of presence for all participants – that is the instinctive knowledge that there are people occupying the same three-dimensional space as you. And in the future, we’ll see even more sophisticated hybrids that focus on that sense of human togetherness. This pre-party with the Foundation –and other events like it — is only the first step in this endeavor. Webex is committed to continue to deliver further innovation and growth for businesses looking to scale and be more inclusive in their future collaborations.

Join me at the pre-party on April 25th to raise awareness about AIDS and support the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Glam is highly recommended, but optional.

Tickets for the party can be purchased on Ticketmaster

Cheers!

Aruna

Learn more

Neil Patrick Harris and Dua Lipa Join Elton John and David Furnish for the 29th Annual Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party [Press Release]

Future Voices featuring stories from students and teachers from around the world

Creating Exhilarating and Exciting Experiences with Cisco Webex and McLaren Racing

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Read more
woman at computer with puckering kiss face and floating hearts
Valentine’s Day: How to be together, even when you can’t be together

Good ol’ Valentine’s Day.

 

A day marked by roses and the celebration of love.

A day to express how you feel more than any above.

Some people love it, they even propose.

Others despise it… You know how it goes.

While I can’t change your feelings towards this particular day.

I thought I’d offer advice. Use it if you may.

It’s for couples apart, and for couples together.

It’s for single people too. Or people under the weather.

I’ll give you a hint because I don’t want to be misleading.

It’s about Webex! I hope you’ll keep reading.

Virtual Valentine’s ideas

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to compile and share a few virtual Valentine’s ideas for any situation you are in this year. Use video conferencing to plan a date, or a get-together with friends!

For a first date

If you’re in this boat, props to you! A first date on Valentine’s could feel like a lot of pressure (maybe not, considering who you are). Take the pressure off a bit, and consider a virtual first date!

Idea: Choose a restaurant with your date and then order food from that place. You’ll be experiencing a meal from the same restaurant together. You could even turn on the same playlist and dress up like you normally would when meeting someone for the first time. Who knows, this Valentine’s day could be the start of your forever love.

A person sitting on a couch with a computer

For the couple that can’t be together

Are you long distance and can’t be with your significant other on Valentine’s Day? Here are a couple ideas to keep the romance alive on this special day.

Idea 1: Order a special box of chocolate for both yourself and for your significant other. Sign on to Webex and have a chocolate tasting together.

Idea 2: After a dinner, choose the same movie and have a Teleparty. Netflix has created a new way to watch TV/movies with others, from your own home. Teleparty synchronizes your video playback so you can watch the same movie at the exact same time.

For those that want to double date

One double date idea that you can do from the comfort of your own home is a cocktail and dessert date.

Idea: Have one couple choose a cocktail to teach you how to make. And the other teaches how to make a dessert. Send all the ingredients needed so each couple can grab them beforehand, and then hop on the video conference, turn your cameras on, and you’ve just created your own version of a cooking class! You’ll get to teach the other couple how to make one of your favorite drinks, or favorite desserts. And you get to be together, virtually!

Here is my favorite drink and dessert.

For a Galentine’s night

Webex is also perfect for a Galentine’s night! You can see all your girlfriends, without leaving your house! The best part is, you can stay comfy in loungewear (unless you want to dress up).

Idea: Wine and cheese night. Pick up a bottle of wine and your favorite cheese/cheeses and crackers. Then, drink and eat like you were together in person. This may even save you more money than going out to a restaurant. You can even set your virtual background to something like this. See others here.

Women drinking wine and video conferencing

For really anything else

Don’t want to go anywhere or really plan anything?

If you’re going to be at home but still want to see friends, consider hosting an “open house.” Send all your friends the link to your meeting, turn your video on, and let them pop in and out for a period of 1, 2, 3(?) hours during the night! This could be a chance to see and catch up with all the people you love, from the comfort of your own home.

Like I mentioned before, some people love this day, others hate it. But really, any of these ideas can be used year-round, for any occasion!

We want to spread the love here at Cisco Webex and hope we helped you think of some fun ideas to have an amazing virtual Valentine’s Day!

If you end up trying one of these ideas, share with us on social media by using the hashtag #LoveOnWebex and stay tuned, as we will share our favorite!

Learn more

How to have fun, virtually

Keeping our distance doesn’t mean we can’t stay close

3 tips for managing a virtual get together

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Best Practices: How to Work Remotely [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Read more
webexone
Three reasons to register for WebexOne: December 8-9

WebexOne is a don’t miss event! This is your last chance to sign up before the event starts.

Here are three reasons you should do so:

1.It’s digital (and Free).

You heard that right. It’s easier to attend than ever before. You can tune in to the event from the comfort of your home office, or really, anywhere you are.

2. Amal Clooney and RuPaul Charles (+ dozens of other thought leaders and speakers)

We’re sure you’ve heard of them. One is known for her work as a Human Rights Expert, and the other as a Pop Culture Icon and host/executive producer of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. These famous luminaries will be joining the event to talk about their careers and how they play a role in inspiring the future of work.

In addition, you’ll get a chance to hear from Webex experts, customers, partners, analysts, and other thought leaders on the direction they see the future of work headed. After the keynotes, you can join sessions around seamless collaboration, customer experience, and channel partners.

3. the all new Webex

This is our premier digital collaboration conference and with that comes, drum roll, please… an all new Webex. You won’t want to miss the announcements and discussions around new features that WILL create a better and easier future of work. Whether you’re back in the office, or working remotely, the new Webex is for you.

Explore the power and magic of collaboration. Check out more here. And don’t forget to register, today.

Learn More

Top 10 reasons I’m excited about WebexOne

Announcing WebexOne: Cisco’s Premier Digital Collaboration Conference

Looking for Best of the Best Bragging Rights? Nominations are Open for the 2nd Annual Webex Awards!

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Read more
Small startup business owner concept. two successful young baristas women standing in bar counter in cafe. happy coffeehouse waitresses in aprons smiling confidently to camera in coffee shop.
5 questions small business owners should ask themselves before choosing a video conferencing solution

Choosing the right solution for your small business

With the advent of widespread remote work, collaboration has become more complex. Instead of gathering in a physical conference room, meetings are now virtual. How do you choose the right solution for your small business and give your teams the tools they need to succeed?

Unproductive meetings are a time and energy suck. When conducted remotely, they have the potential to be even more disorienting. The right video conferencing solution can make meetings productive again.

5 things to look for in a video conferencing solution

Before purchasing a conference solution for audio/video calls and meetings, there are some questions to be answered. Look carefully at each of your prospective solutions and as a buyer, consider a customer value management approach to see if they support your business needs. Some features may include:

  1. In-browser functionality

Many video conferencing solutions require users to have an account or download an app. That’s just one more hoop to jump through and one more login to remember. Look for options that support in-browser use and have a fast uptime instead.

When you can simply invite people to a meeting with a quick email and they can get straight into the meeting by clicking a link, you cut down on time waiting for people to find their login or request a new password, or download and launch an app.

Cisco Webex Meetings has a fast browser-based interface, providing easy access for desktop users. Your participants can also join via tablet, phone, or any standards-based video conferencing system. The goal is to provide unparalleled video quality from anywhere your team member is located, on any device they choose to utilize. You can easily customize the meeting layout for best viewing and usability.

Best of all, there’s no download or configuration required, and users can easily jump into meetings over the phone with the Call Me feature. You can schedule, start, and join new meetings directly from your toolbar for added flexibility and convenience.

  1. Collaboration features

The ability to actively share and collaborate during a conference can enhance video calls and teamwork. Look for solutions that allow the following functionalities:

  • Screen sharing. Being able to show, not tell, can streamline training processes and make it easy for groups to follow along as you demonstrate how to use a new tool or application.
  • File sharing. Dropping a document into your meeting for everyone to access saves time and effort over having to create and send an email blast with the attached file or link.
  • Instant messaging. Having a built-in chat allows participants to ask questions without interrupting the flow of a presentation and helps preserve a record of participation.

Webex Meetings facilitates screen sharing, file sharing, and real-time chat during video conferencing calls to help foster collaboration and build stronger teams.

  1. Speech-to-text capability

Being able to revisit what happened in a conference call can give your video conferences lasting organizational impact. Look for features like audio/visual recording, closed captioning, real-time transcription and note taking. Being able to share a past video conference with someone who missed it is easier than trying to recap later.

Webex Meetings can record each conference, provide closed captions, facilitate note-taking, and deliver accurate transcriptions that you can download, save, and share as needed. When you need to revisit an older conference, you can use targeted keywords to search transcripts for sections of interest.

  1. Cost vs. value

While cost is certainly a factor for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), it shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing how to handle your video conferencing call needs. All options aren’t created equal, and it’s better to pay a little more for a video conference solution that meets the needs of your team.

  • Quality. Read reviews and find out which solutions repeatedly get praise for clear audio and smooth video feeds.
  • Resolution. Does the picture quality suffer on certain devices? You need a solution that doesn’t just work only on desktop or only on mobile.
  • Security. How are your calls encrypted? Who handles the speech to text function and provides recordings, transcriptions, and closed captioning?
  • Support. When you’re having issues, waiting in a queue or having to email a support team isn’t a viable solution. You need help that is available and accessible in real time.

Webex Meetings video conferencing provides clear audio and high-resolution video, along with in-house encryption, recording, captioning, and transcription for a secure experience. The support team is continually available to troubleshoot any potential issues with you in real time.

  1. Integrations

How well will the video conferencing solution integrate with tools you already use? Ask the following questions when considering adding video conferencing to your array of small business solutions:

  • Can you seamlessly merge your contact list, email client, and calendars to facilitate meeting invites?
  • Will you be able to readily access files from your favorite file-share and storage locations?
  • Is the solution compatible with both Microsoft and Apple tools and applications?
  • What about chat and communication platforms?
  • Can you use the video conference solution inside your preferred small business customer relationship management (CRM) platform?

Being able to continue using the other solutions your team is familiar with will make video conferencing easier and more intuitive.

Webex Meetings smoothly integrates with Google Cloud, Microsoft, Apple, Box, Salesforce, and Slack to complete your suite of small business tools while fostering scalability and adoption.

Video conferencing can give your SMB a strong strategic advantage. Learn more by getting started with a free trial today.

Resources

Control Hub Administration — Configuring the Essentials Part 1 [Live Class]

Scheduling Webex Events [Live Class]

What’s new in Webex: November 2020

Learn More

Small business innovation and how you can learn from it

Choosing the best small business tools for 2020

How do I expand my small-scale business without capital?

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing

What’s new in Webex Meetings 41.1 [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance

Read more
Best cybersecurity practices for parents

As a parent, what can you do to make sure your children are as safe as possible from cybersecurity threats while attending school remotely?

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) may have ended, but its lessons about how to stay safe online are worth taking to heart throughout the year.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many previously in-person activities are now virtual, relying on video conferencing, VoIP calling, and screen sharing as substitutes for face-to-face discussions. School systems throughout the U.S. have shifted all or at least most of their classes online. This new normal raises the stakes for proper cybersecurity measures in the home, where many children now receive instruction.

Let’s look at five immediate steps you can take to curtail risk and promote a more productive, safer online experience.

  1. Help your kids manage their passwords

CISA recommends using the longest permissible password for every account to prevent guessing. There are several ways to create a sufficiently lengthy and unique password for each login:

  • Let a web browser (Apple Safari, Google Chrome, etc.) generate and store it for you.
  • Use a third-party service such as 1Password to do the same.
  • Come up with your own passwords by using phrases, titles, and abbreviations, interspersed with special characters and varying capitalization as needed, and manage them with one of the above tools.

In all cases, you’ll want to have some sort of auto-fill enabled so that your children do not have to manually enter each of these passwords. Train them on how to generally use the password manager, including the use of the PIN, master password, or biometric credentials that may be needed to fill each password.

  1. Set up and enable parental controls

All major operating systems include some form of parental controls, which allow you to manage the applications, sites, and services your children have access to. For example, Chromebooks running Google Chrome OS can have Family Link enabled.

Family Link can be configured to prevent private browsing in Chrome, block certain types of content, and limit which permissions a child can grant to individual websites (such as camera, microphone, and location access). These features are also customizable.

Similar services exist across iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. Basically, all of these parental control solutions can disable incognito/private browsing like Family Link does, while also providing granular activity reporting and management of site/app access.

  1. Educate them about phishing

Phishing is one of the most effective types of cyberattacks. A 2020 survey from email security firm GreatHorn found that 36% of respondents received risky emails on a daily basis.* A separate Barracuda Networks report found a huge surge in phishing campaigns as attackers take advantage of high interest in recent times, safety measure announcements, and potential treatments.**

Pre-teen boy lying on sofa using laptop, dad sitting beside him, mum and sister in the backgroundBeing able to identify and delete any phishing emails that automatic spam filters don’t catch is especially important in remote learning environments, due to the sheer volume of email correspondence sent to both parents and students. Accordingly, phishing knowledge is a key skill for everyone in your household to acquire. To lower the risk of phishing, be sure to:

  • Note any unusual spellings or grammar in email subject lines and bodies.
  • Avoid clicking any links or downloading any attachments from unknown senders.
  • Look for odd sender email addresses, for instance ones from non-.edu domains.
  • Add seemingly risky senders to a block list, so their future messages don’t show up.
  • Ensure that spam filtering settings on your child’s email account are properly configured.
  1. Keep an eye on software updates

Outdated applications and operating systems are security risks, as they might contain known vulnerabilities and/or be incompatible with certain forms of protection. Even if your child isn’t aware yet of these risks, you can still keep them safe by making sure that automatic software updates are enabled.

Depending on the platform and the type of update, the update may happen in the background (in which case, no action is required) or require a restart or the entry of an administrator password to proceed. Check periodically to see if updates are available or require any intervention on your part.

  1. Enable two-factor authentication

Sensitive applications such as those for video conferencing and voice communications should be protected with multiple layers of security. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is especially important, as it requires any successful login to consist of both a correct username-password combination and an additional factor such as a one-time code, security question, or confirmation on a separate device.

NCSAM 2020 has focused heavily on the role of 2FA and the other precautions highlighted here. You can access their full set of cybersecurity tips on this page.

Want to learn more about Webex and all its features and the value it can provide? Reach out for more information or get started for free.

Learn more

What healthcare providers should do this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Preparing for screen sharing: How to reduce risk when sharing your screen

Security and compliance realities for remote financial service workers

4 ways to ensure your video conferences are secure

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

What’s new in Webex Meetings 41.1 [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Sources

*GreatHorn Annual Survey Report, 2020

**667% spike in email phishing attacks due to coronavirus factors

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How to maintain morale and emphasize mental health with remote workforces

Supporting remote workers’ mental health and boosting morale

As in-office teams have gone remote, they’ve faced no shortage of challenges in maintaining their productivity in new environments — not to mention their sanity.

Even before a widespread shift to telecommuting, remote workers routinely faced challenges in fending off loneliness and creating high-quality connections with colleagues and customers from afar.

In 2018, Harvard Business Review chronicled then-current research on the effects of remote work on employee isolation and burnout:

  • One paper found that telecommuters exerted additional effort when away from the office, a form of “intensification” that could stretch projects over longer periods of time and induce burnout.
  • Isolation was flagged as a major health risk in a presentation given at the American Psychological Association. Meanwhile, Buffer’s 2018 State of Remote Work survey found that loneliness topped the list of remote work difficulties.

Fast forward to 2020 and the same challenges are present, if not more intensified by external factors. The 2020 edition of Buffer’s survey found “loneliness” again at the top of the most cited struggles, tied with “collaboration and communication.”

Depressed young man checking home finance

How managers can alleviate mental stress

What can managers, in particular, do to alleviate the mental stress on their teams? Let’s explore a few of the most common tactics.

Regular check-ins

It’s not enough to just do a one-time check-in with an employee to see how they’re holding up. Instead, try the following:

  • Make a schedule and stick to it. The exact timeframe will vary depending on the department. For example, engineering teams may need more frequent meetings than others, due to the continuous, iterative nature of methodologies like DevOps. On the other hand, monthly check-ins can work in other contexts, like keeping up-to-date with people you don’t interact with day in and day out.
  • Mix it up when appropriate. Although some meetings will be strictly focused on work, you have room to expand the subject matter and format of check-ins in other contexts. Virtual coffees or team happy hours may be a useful addition to your schedule. These gatherings let you get a sense of how workers are feeling and provide emotional support. Focusing on mental health during check-ins is also useful no matter the larger topic, as dealing with anxiety, depression, and overload can be tough when remote.
  • Create an agenda. No matter the type of meeting you’re setting up, it doesn’t hurt to have an agenda, if only for your own sake. Make a list of what will be covered so that you can keep the check-in on track. For more formal meetings, share the agenda along with any collateral (such as forms to fill out) well in advance of the actual meeting time.
  • Provide opportunities for development. Just because an employee is remote does not mean their professional development can’t continue. Virtual check-ins via video conferencing platforms and screen sharing software offer good forums for reviewing progress and looking ahead to how the employee might expand their skill set.

Mental health days

In May 2020, Cisco offered employees a company-wide “Day for Me” for purposes of everyone’s well-being. This occasion — an opportunity for the company to take a “collective break” — continued Cisco’s longer-term commitment to mental health, both internally and externally. Cisco leadership has, at other junctures, sent out email updates on mental health and contributed to the ramping-up of telehealth services enabled by Cisco Webex.

More broadly, other organizations may benefit from encouraging their employees to prioritize their mental health by taking advantage of vacation or PTO days and not letting their work intrude into odd hours. Even on days when employees are working, regular breaks and a consistent routine are essential in recharging from the sometimes overwhelming stress of balancing work with ongoing background anxieties.

These techniques help reset the mind and also reduce the eyestrain of looking at screens all day. Consider getting up at least every 20 to 30 minutes, if feasible, and taking the occasion to look at somewhere other than a phone or PC.

Real-time collaboration

One reason that remote employees may feel isolated is that the most common forms of collaboration are very impersonal. Email exchanges can happen without the recipients ever knowing what each other looks or sounds like. And yet enormous time blocks of each work week are consumed composing, responding to, and generally managing email.

In contrast, real-time collaboration solutions with features for video, audio, and screen sharing can provide a much more personalized experience that is good not only for productivity but also for staving off feelings of isolation and burnout. Real-time collaboration tools offer:

  • Crystal-clear video to get insight into body language and reactions.
  • Crisp audio for having an easy-to-follow conversation from anywhere.
  • Screen sharing alongside video and audio for in-depth walkthroughs and demos.
  • Integrated messaging for synchronous communication and content sharing.

Add it all up, and the experience is more engaging than relying on email alone. Webex can be the centerpiece of your mental health-conscious and inclusive remote work experience.

Learn more by getting started for free.

Learn more

The workday: how it’s changed, but also stayed the same

Adjusting to a new normal: The shift to remote work

Securing users and devices in Webex

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Making a Good Impression on Video [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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*Helping Remote Workers Avoid Loneliness and Burnout

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Handwriting text writing Improve Productivity. Concept meaning to increase the machine and process efficiency Male human wear formal work suit presenting presentation using smart device.
Increasing the productivity of your employees

Productivity is a central concern for every business, regardless of size, industry, or history.

More productive employees generally equate to better business results, which is why increasing productivity is an important consideration for managers, supervisors, and leaders. Giving your employees the tools to do more and empowering them to feel confident in that ability can lead to some significant improvements. These actions are especially important as more staff members work from home, whether on a fixed or temporary basis.

Consider this advice as you look for ways to boost employee productivity.

Offer the right tools and support

Technology has not only enabled a wide variety of employees to work from home, but also allows these staff members to capably and dependably fulfill their professional responsibilities. Making sure your teams have the tools they need to perform to the best of their abilities is a simple step that supports productivity in the long run.

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to ensuring staff are equipped to handle anything that comes their way:

  • An internet connection is generally the responsibility of a renter or homeowner. However, there may be situations where staff working on projects that regularly eat up bandwidth could benefit from an arrangement that helps subsidize the cost of upgraded service and reduces the time spent sending and receiving files. This could include paying for part or all of the cost of an Ethernet connection or a mesh network to reduce slowdown and boost performance.
  • Hardware provided by your company, like a computer or mobile device, must support the programs employees need to complete their duties. Making sure they aren’t losing valuable time to slow processing speeds or becoming frustrated by error-prone hardware can definitely pay off. The basic tools needed for video conferencing – a camera and microphone – should also be considered, as this option is increasingly popular and effective for those working from home.
  • As with hardware, software must also align with the expectations placed on employees and empower them to work confidently and quickly. While specific needs often vary, videoconferencing software helps address a common need among nearly all remote employees. Be sure to select a program that supports a rich and immersive environment. Keep an eye out for features like virtual whiteboards, automated transcriptions, and other features that enable creativity, collaboration, and problem solving.

Image of young pleased happy cheerful cute beautiful business woman sit indoors in office using laptop computer listening music with earphones.

Focus on feedback

Communication about performance, upcoming projects, company initiatives, and many other important topics allows employees to feel connected to their specific roles and the larger company as a whole. Providing feedback to staff is a foundational part of the manager’s role in an organization. And as more and more employees work from home on a temporary or ongoing basis, it’s even more important to emphasize this type of communication.

Actionable feedback – the kind that employees can digest and then apply to their next relevant task – is vital. While it may be positive, negative, or a mix of the two, ensure your staff can draw meaningful, personal conclusions from such discussions and understand how to incorporate feedback into their work.

This is another area where the right video conferencing solution can go a long way toward boosting productivity. Managers can add more value to feedback by highlighting relevant documents or statistics through a screen share, for example, than they could on a phone call alone.

HR Daily Advisor highlighted how goal setting and performance analysis leads to more informed and productive staff.* Creating a rich environment for sharing feedback tied to goals and performance means less uncertainty and a clearer picture for how to move forward. Read how video improves communication during any conference call.

Streamline meetings and emails

Meetings and messages with a clear purpose and intent are invaluable to the regular and positive operation of a business. However, too many email notifications and time spent away from the task at hand can disrupt staff and reduce their productivity over time.

Inc. contributor Chad Halvorson highlighted excessive meetings and emails as two factors that can drive down productivity.** Even when organized or sent with the best of intentions, these events can be a distraction when they spring up too frequently.

Managers should consolidate messaging when possible. A message sent each day — or every few days  — with various notes that are important but not urgent is less disruptive than several emails throughout each day. A standing weekly team meeting that covers upcoming needs and past performance is more predictable and easier to fit into a schedule than several ad-hoc get-togethers about individual issues. Employees will have more productive time to focus on individual work and will still be actively involved in communications about their roles and many other concerns central to their performance.

There will always be situations where it’s imperative to immediately get in touch with an employee or bring a group of them together. Drawing a line between emergencies and something that can wait until the end of the day or the next team meeting is where managers can take an active role in enabling more productive work each day.

Increasing productivity can feel like an especially complicated problem for managers and company leaders. The good news is there are clear steps your organization can take to set employees up for success and help them do more of what they’re best at – even when some or all are working remotely.

Cisco Webex supports effective communication with secure and reliable connections for one-on-one and group meetings, some of the most important building blocks of increased productivity.

Get started with your free plan today.

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How to increase remote employee productivity during the holiday season with Webex Teams

Why remote work can be more productive work

What’s new in Webex: November 2020

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Overview of Webex Meetings [Live Class]

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**11 Changes You Can Make to Boost Employee Productivity in 1 Week

*5 Ways to Increase Employee Productivity

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Top 10 reasons I’m excited about WebexOne

It wasn’t that long ago when Top 10 lists were all the rage, a staple of late-night television. We’ve all played the game – top 10 beaches to visit, top 10 dog breeds, top 10 creative uses for pumpkin spice, and so on. We’ve also seen lists become popular on social media – who didn’t play #FirstSevenJobs? So, with a nod to our love of lists, I’m sharing the top 10 reasons I’m excited about WebexOne.

#10

It’s 100% digital

No planes, trains, or automobiles. Simply find a comfortable space in your home (or office if you’re among those lucky few to be back), click into the streaming platform, and watch the magic happen!

#9

Möchten Sie die Konferenz auf Deutsch hören?

Why, yes, you can! We’re localizing the event in 6 different languages* to make it easier than ever to see and understand the latest Webex innovations. In fact, we’re broadcasting in regionally friendly time zones for attendees in Asia-Pac, Japan, and Europe. Visit webexone.com to learn more!

*German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Traditional Chinese

#8

Sessions for everyone

After the keynotes on both days, you’ll have the option of joining sessions with more on our Webex innovations, panels with customers, and deep dive learning opportunities. Sessions are focused on seamless collaboration, customer experience, and channel partners. Plus, we’re sprinkling in some surprise and delight moments you won’t want to miss!

#7

Awards

At WebexOne, we’ll be celebrating the amazing things our customers and partners do with Webex. Tune in to see how others are transforming their business, achieving high adoption rates, creating a video-first environment, and much more. While nominations are closed, check out the award categories here.

#6

Technology Partner Integrations

You’ll hear how some of our key technology partners – Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, and Facebook – enhance the Webex ecosystem. This is one more example of how Webex fits into your everyday work life and delivers magical moments.

#5

The Future of Work

Throughout the two days, you’ll hear from CXOs, analysts, and thought leaders on what they see for the future for work. They’ll offer inspiring views on how they are re-imagining work in a post-pandemic world, exploring new ways of working, how to thrive in a hybrid environment, and what we can expect over the next five years.

#4

Chuck Robbins & Jeetu Patel

Two heavy hitters open the WebexOne conference – unveiling big news and sharing the latest innovations for Webex. Chuck even hinted at what you’ll see recently with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. Chuck and Jeetu will share the vision for Collaboration, and how we’ll continue to be there when the world needs to work.

#3

Customer stories from IBM, the Dallas Cowboys, Under Armour, T-Mobile, and many more!

At WebexOne, you’ll hear from our amazing customers on how they use Webex – the platform, devices, app, calling, and even contact center. Customer stories are one of my favorite things – and it feels good to know we can help them stay connected, and keep their businesses thriving. I think you’ll love hearing their stories, too!

#2

Luminary speakers Amal Clooney and RuPaul Charles

“Amal Clooney and RuPaul stand for very specific things around equality in the world; around making sure that human rights are protected, and ensuring you can be different and be proud of the fact that you’re different,” said Jeetu Patel in a recent interview. “There is no one better to actually carry the message forward in a very, very symbolic way.” #micdrop

#1

The all new Webex!

What we’re unveiling at WebexOne will blow your socks off! From new features to make hybrid work better and easier, to new devices that work seamlessly with Webex, you’ll see the magic that comes from building a platform that delivers 10x better experiences than in-person interactions.

I think I’m even more excited to attend WebexOne than before – and I hope you are too. Register today – I’ll be curious to hear your top 10 takeaways afterwards.

Stay safe, be healthy, and we’ll see you at WebexOne!

Oh, if you were wondering, my #FirstSevenJobs were 1. making flower garlands and selling them in the local market; 2. Software engineering intern at Wipro; 3. Software engineering intern at IBM; 4. Software engineer at HP; 5. Director of Marketing at HP; 6. VP Marketing at Juniper; and 7. VP Marketing at CA (now Broadcom). I guess that means I’m on my 8th job now as the CMO of Cisco Webex!

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Announcing WebexOne: Cisco’s Premier Digital Collaboration Conference

Looking for Best of the Best Bragging Rights? Nominations are Open for the 2nd Annual Webex Awards!

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The workday: how it’s changed, but also stayed the same

The rise of remote work changing the way co-workers communicate and collaborate

The workplace has evolved immensely over the past couple decades in the wake of technological advancements and changing attitudes toward what is considered a “normal” workday.

As technologies emerged like email, followed by team messaging tools and video conferencing capabilities, professionals gained greater abilities to communicate with others quickly and seamlessly without ever being in the same room.

At the same time, the rise of remote work has changed the way co-workers collaborate. As increasing numbers of professionals work remotely rather than commute into a shared office space, colleagues have to learn how to utilize technologies to keep connected. Let’s take a look at how video, project management, and team collaboration tools can change the structure of your workday.

Bringing the workplace to employees, wherever they are

About one-fifth of remote workers say collaboration and communication are the biggest struggles that result from their remote work arrangements, according to The 2020 State of Remote Work report from Buffer. Software that brings the workplace to employees, no matter where they’re located, can help people communicate about their projects.*

As more people join the remote workforce, from all corners of the globe, the “workday” has evolved from the set of hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Instead, people in various time zones and on differing preferred work schedules log in on their own time, complete their work and utilize asynchronous communication to collaborate.

Email continues to be the primary means of sharing information between colleagues; 95% of workers say this is their main mode of internal communications, according to a survey by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and theEMPLOYEEapp by APPrise Mobile.**

Email is a top choice for teams with dispersed team members, as the receipt of an email does not require an immediate response. Communication can take place over the course of hours or days to relay information needed for a project.

young man sitting on a bed wearing jogging pants and tshirt video conferencing on a cell phone wearing ear buds

Meanwhile, other methods of communication have risen in popularity. Workplace messaging programs allow people to quickly send messages, which can either be responded to promptly or whenever is most convenient for the recipient.

Collaboration software that allows people to review documents and files, then make comments for their colleagues to see later on, also enable everyone to share their knowledge and thoughts on a specific item. Other team members can then respond and contribute their piece on their own time, too. Even better, it’s all stored in one place.

Additionally, video conferencing calls are important. While having everyone on a video call at the same time is the best case scenario, people who have overlapping meetings or time zone constraints can listen to recording functionalities allow those who missed to listen to recordings of the call.

But at the heart of the workplace, some things haven’t changed too much

It’s undeniable that the workplace has changed quite a lot thanks to evolving technology and changing trends in how people communicate at work. But, in many ways, the workplace has remained the same – and advanced technology allows people to maintain certain normalcies, even though the definitions of “workplace” and “work day” have changed. Three specific ways the workplace has not changed despite the many advancements include:

  • The need for real-time communication.
  • The value of workplace friendships.
  • The risk of burnout.

For example, though varied work schedules are becoming more normalized, there is still great value in real-time, face-to-face communication. Live video conferencing allows people to connect and communicate in a similar way as they would in-person in the same room. Read How video improves communication during any conference call

Even when recorded meetings can suffice in most cases, there’s still immense value to meeting in real-time to answer questions and bring up challenges pertaining to a work task.

Workplace camaraderie matters

Another aspect of the workplace that has not changed is the importance of camaraderie among team members.

Humans are social beings, and when team members view one another as friends as well as colleagues, it benefits the whole company; data from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report shows this.*** Organizations that have a high number of workers who agree with the statement “I have a best friend at work” have fewer safety incidents, higher profit overall, and more engaged customers.

Workers who work remotely say loneliness is one of their biggest challenges, according to The 2020 State of Remote Work report from Buffer. Video can help out with this, as team leaders can create virtual happy hours, conversations over coffee, or other events that bring remote workers together socially.

women on computer sitting on couch wearing glasses and looking out the window with a lonely look on her face

Finally, the risk of burnout is still a concern to workers, even when they’re logging in from their home, favorite café, or somewhere else. Because employees can access their work emails, check and send messages to colleagues and conduct other activities anytime, it becomes even more difficult to unplug and relax.

In fact, according to Buffer’s report, 18% of respondents said not being able to unplug from work is among their biggest challenges in the remote work lifestyle. Taking breaks is critical for staying mentally healthy, productive and engaged when it is time to get work done. Employees who work non-traditional schedules should keep in mind that they must also take breaks from their workloads.

Remote work schedules can be a big perk for employees. However, it’s essential to understand how to create team unity, even when schedules don’t always align. Find time to communicate around the clock.

Start a free Cisco Webex plan today

Learn More

Why remote work can be more productive work

Adjusting to a new normal: The shift to remote work 

Delighting remote workers: Why user experience is important 

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Take a live session on What’s New in Webex Meeting 40.12

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Sources

*The 2020 state of remote work

**Trends in Communications Industry Show Companies Slow to Adopt New Technologies

***State of the American Workplace Report

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K-12 e-learning video conferencing tips

Video conferencing tips for e-learning

Our daily lives experience no shortage of disruptions. Did you know that prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, studies showed the average person is bombarded with as many as 4,000 messages per day? These can come in the form of advertising, marketing, notifications, alerts, emails, calls, people, and more. Pretty crazy to think about. And now, many kids are home, distracting their parents, but also experiencing similar distractions as they navigate a new normal for what their schooling looks like.

Fortunately, limits on in-person instruction have not eliminated educational experiences for many students. A large number of districts have embraced remote learning, using technology-mediated interactions to help students stay on track. But how do you keep students engaged?

A recent article in Edutopia noted how challenging this transition is for students and teachers alike, but luckily, there are many strategies educators can employ, and resources they can use, to get the most out of remote learning for students in kindergarten through high school.*

Best practices for K-12 e-learning

First of all, if your school or district already uses an online learning management system (LMS), make sure to integrate your video conferencing tool with that platform. Administrators and teachers who are tasked with this responsibility can join Webex for live classes that explore the Webex Education Connector for Learning Management Systems.

Synchronous class time on Webex

During synchronous class time, make sure to set expectations around technology with your students, including demonstrating how to use video conferencing features. As appropriate for your students’ grade level and learning objectives, make sure they know how to mute, use chat functions and more.

Record the course, and share that you will do so. Direct students toward the archive of past lessons and make sure they’re easy to access.

As you meet with your students over a video conferencing platform, there are several best practices you can follow to help make learning more engaging:

  1. Turn your video on.

With so much changing on a daily basis, going live with your students is a simple way to add some continuity to the learning experience. Don’t worry too much about having the best lighting or perfect hair. Just do what you’d normally do for school. Try not to have too many distractions visible on camera, but sharing a little bit of your home life and personality can really help your students plug in.

  1. Use the tools at your disposal.

Videoconferencing platforms can enable highly interactive online learning. There are a couple Webex tools that you might want to leverage for remote learning:

  • Whiteboard: Pull up the Webex virtual Whiteboard to both demonstrate concepts and interact with students. This can be used for lessons or quick games during break time.
  • Polling: Do you need to do a quick check for understanding, or do you want to give students a chance to vote on how content will be delivered today? Use a snap Webex poll.
  • Find simple web-based tools for other functions. Display slide decks, shared documents, tutorials and other simple web-based tools by using screen sharing Remember, you’re not moving the class from one location to the next, so anything you can do to give students breaks and cues that it’s time to switch tasks will help keep things running smoothly throughout the day.

If you are running synchronous classes on Webex, it could still be beneficial to incorporate a little independent work time and quick opportunities for sharing into the lesson. Doing so will let students focus on tasks that will help them retain the lesson and listening to their classmates share takeaways and thoughts will give them prompt feedback about their in-class work.

Asynchronous class time on Webex

During asynchronous work time and collaboration in small groups, make sure students know how to use shared documents and set up Webex Teams and spaces so they can work together and send assignments back to you. Encourage students to utilize different online tools to get their work done, before coming to ask for help. As an example, you could have them run grammar checks on their assignments before turning them in.

Remember, if you have to change the participants in a small group, add or remove individuals instead of deleting the space and creating a new one. Students will appreciate being able to see the context so they can catch up quickly.

Most of all, remember, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for testing out techniques to see what works for your class and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to readjust as you get a better sense of how to engage your K-12 students through e-learning.

Additional resources

There’s a wealth of learning opportunities available from Cisco Webex to help teachers explore how videoconferencing and Cisco Teams can help them connect with their students.

The first stop for teachers, students and parents, as well as IT professionals and higher education faculty, should be this web page. You’ll find tips for creating lesson plans, launching group projects and more.

Like you, we know that everybody’s learning style is different. That’s why we produce video tutorials to help teachers learn how to use Webex with their students. Topics we’ve covered so far include how to set expectations with students, tips to help teachers with scheduling and advice for establishing classroom culture during remote learning.

For more about the transition to virtual learning, check out this blog post.

Lastly, one thing we’ve noticed during our current situation is that when times are tough, people step up. Today, there’s no shortage of additional resources, including those outside of what we offer at Cisco Webex. A recent rundown from CNET includes K-12 e-learning resources on topics ranging from literacy to math, science and coding, as well as languages and Advanced Placement preparation. You’ll even find opportunities to take a virtual field trip with your class.

Reach out for more information or get started with our free offer.

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Connected Education: Let Remote Learning Continue With Webex — Before, During, and After Class

Welcome to hybrid learning

 

Sources

How challenging this transition is for students and teachers alike

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Best practices for clinicians using video conferencing

Video conferencing best practices

Some situations will always require an in-person visit to a healthcare provider. But there are many instances where a stable and immersive audio and video conferencing platform can offer all of the context needed for a clinician and their staff to offer accurate advice and a diagnosis.

Medical professionals benefit from a streamlined workflow, while patients don’t have to worry about travel arrangements and other logistical concerns. Plus, everyone involved has the advantage of reduced exposure to contagious and communicable diseases.

Of course, there are best practices in terms of compliance, medical ethics, technology, and practicality that must all be considered. Let’s review some key guidance for clinicians who decide to start offering virtual consults.

Compliance and medical ethics

The medical field is held to especially high standards in terms of patient confidentiality, licensure of providers, prescription of medication, acting in the best interests of patients, and many other factors.

In general, the same compliance concerns apply to virtual consults as an equivalent visit by a patient to your office or facility. There are some issues specifically related to virtual consults to keep in mind as well, as the Telehealth Resource Centers explained:

  • Providers have to be licensed to practice medicine in the same state where their patient is located.
  • HIPAA doesn’t specifically cover the unique circumstances of telehealth and virtual consults, but physicians and other staff must follow its rules to avoid issues with patient confidentiality and privacy.
  • Some states have additional privacy and security laws, whether focused on medicine or internet commerce, that providers must follow.

The Center for Connected Health Policy pointed out that while there are no Medicare rules related to informed consent and telemedicine, many states require that medical professionals obtain this approval from patients. This may be enforced through a state Medicaid program or statutes and regulations, so a thorough understanding of the requirements of the state or states in which you provide telemedicine services is especially important.

Practicality and ease of use

Virtual consults help to reduce or eliminate the various roadblocks that can exist between patients and care. Whether it’s impossible for a patient to secure reliable transport to a facility or they can’t easily do so because of a medical condition or other factors, a virtual consult can still connect them with you and your staff. Additionally, these visits keep all patients – whether immunocompromised or healthy – away from others who may spread a disease to them.

These benefits are only accessible with a carefully developed strategy that makes it easy for patients and medical professionals to connect with each other. Scheduling is one concern to keep in mind. Physicians, nurses, and other medical staff may have to spend more time with a given patient during a virtual consult or in-office visit than was initially anticipated or budgeted for on a daily schedule.

If your next virtual consult has to be delayed, the patient should be kept in the loop with updated information. Explaining up front that the appointment time is a guideline that everyone in the office attempts to follow but can’t absolutely guarantee is an important step. So is sending a notification if an issue arises.

Delegating work related to the consult is another factor. On your side of operations, it can ease the burden to have administrative staff set up the video conference and send an invite to you. That means more time focusing on the assessment you’re qualified to provide. Similarly, your admin team can also send an invite to patients ahead of time and follow up shortly before the appointment.

Technology

A stable and high-quality video conferencing platform can go a long way toward enabling the success of virtual consults. In-depth discussions about a topic as important as personal health requires support from a dependable solution. Clinicians may also want to record their sessions with patients to provide a detailed reference that supports their note-taking and other information-gathering efforts during the consult. A recording feature is critical to support this effort to maintain detailed records.

Making sure that patients who aren’t technologically savvy have the support they need to connect is also vital. That may mean having an administrator on your staff offer assistance in some cases or connecting with a relative or care provider on the patient’s end to explain what’s needed. A video conferencing platform designed to be intuitive and easy to use can help to make the virtual consult process as simple and pain-free as possible.

Similar considerations apply for you and your staff. Administrative specialists who set up virtual consults benefit from a platform designed around ease of use, as do nurses, clinicians, and other medical staff who interact with patients through them.

The virtual consult is a powerful tool that leverages the power of modern technology to break down geographic barriers and provide a high level of care to all patients, no matter where they’re located. But to be truly successful, best practices in the areas of technology, practicality, compliance, and medical ethics must be addressed.

 

Cisco Webex is here to support clinicians with a dedicated solution for their telemedicine needs.

Check out this virtual consultation checklist to learn more or get started with Webex today.

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Cisco + Samsung, innovating healthcare

Creating moments that matter for your residents with Webex

Cleaning shared touchscreen devices

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4 ways to ensure your video conferences are secure

Video conferencing security for small business

Now that the professional world finds itself almost entirely online, it’s as good a time to reemphasize how critical cybersecurity is for small and medium-sized businesses. The rush to digitize workflows and procedures may have led some decision-makers to choose the most straightforward consumer-grade tools for preserving business continuity.

Why are there security and privacy issues?

Yet there may be underlying security and privacy issues with solutions that haven’t been vetted thoroughly. Considering the lightning-quick pace with which businesses had to adapt to stay-at-home orders, it’s possible not every solution was put under the microscope.

Learn about the best video conferencing & online meeting software

Video conferencing software

Video conferencing software may fall under this category. Thousands have turned to free tools to fill the collaboration and communication gap. But at the same time, businesses may be putting their operations, data, and employees at risk if they depend on video conferencing software with security vulnerabilities.

See how video conferencing is simple, seamless, and secure. With the Webex mobile app security is built right in

Top 4 tips for SMBs on securing your privacy on video conferencing platforms

Here are some tips for running secure video chats and picking the right solution to drive productivity in remote workforces — and, more importantly, to ensure security and protect privacy.

1) Control who is invited

Trolls are everywhere, and they may be targeting your business. Persons not affiliated with your company may look to do a little online gate-crashing and disrupt your meeting if they somehow get the URL or meeting invite link. They’ll be an annoying nuisance; at worst, they may spam your call with hateful messages and disruptive, insulting behaviors.

Yet you have the controls to keep the trolls at bay. Ensure that anyone you invite to a meeting is a known employee, client, or verified third party. Advise all these participants not to share the meeting link. Also, make sure to lock your video chat once it begins so that only approved invitees can join.

Locking down video conferences is an issue for internal meetings, but more so for external engagement efforts. If you’re hosting a public webinar and didn’t take these precautions, your proceedings may be derailed. That could lead to several consequences, not the least of which is damage to your business’s reputation.

Need help in Webex? Find our Cisco Webex security and privacy resources in our Help Center.

2) Leverage administrative security options

The example above is a cautionary tale, and it underscores how crucial it is for you to have robust administrative security controls. Yet, such capabilities will be sorely lacking in most consumer-grade tech; and if a tool does have such features, it is likely going to be basic and limited.

Maintaining control of security and privacy measures is essential. Most free-to-use tools are not sophisticated enough to match the needs of your business. Your wish list for security controls should include ways for you to:

  • Permit users to store their email addresses and names securely so they can quickly join in the future.
  • Require authentication for all hosts and attendees wanting to access the site.
  • Enforce various lock controls and meeting participant ejection protocols.
  • Enable hosts to customize meeting access security within predefined parameters.
  • Allow for meetings to be unlisted from public calendars.
  • Control screen sharing and recording functions.
  • Automatically end meetings after a certain time or if only one attended remains.
  • Mandate that attendees have an approved account to join.

Without at least these controls, your business may be woefully underprepared to enforce security and privacy in video conferences, putting your operations and employees at risk.

Learn more about administration security 

3) Review the privacy policy

This tip comes from the Federal Trade Commission, which has published a list of best practices for SMBs* that now rely on video conferencing. Checking the privacy policy is a must, and you really shouldn’t move on using a solution without doing so.

However, arranging contingency plans was a frenzy for many businesses, and reviewing the privacy policies of video conferencing tools may have slipped under the radar. This may cause severe issues if you assume a tool stores your data one way, but it does not meet expectations or security requirements in actuality. As the FTC advises, always check the type of data the conferencing software collects, its policy on using your data, and whether it shares information with any third parties. Read about Cisco’s promise to our customers on security in an open collaboration world.

4) Focus on encryption

Choosing a video conferencing solution with end-to-end encryption is the only real way to ensure security for your business calls and meetings. Not only is encryption an advantage for some businesses, but it’s also mandated for others in specific regulated industries like law, finance, and health care.

Most consumer-grade solutions are lacking in this department, and what encryption they do offer is far from the robust end-to-end protection your business needs.
A tool that offers features like password encryption, SHA-2 hashing, and Network-Based Recordings is your best bet for secure meetings.

In closing

Looking for a video conferencing solution that checks all the security and privacy boxes to ensure your meetings are private and productive? Cisco Webex is a leading choice among SMBs of all sectors. We place security and privacy at the top of our priorities, and with Webex, you don’t need to worry about sacrificing ease of use or user experience for security controls.

Want to learn more about Webex and all its features and the value it can provide your business? Reach out for more information or get started with our free offer today.

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Cleaning shared touch-screen devices

The benefits of touch screen devices 

During the last decade we have seen a rapid increase of touch screen devices in the market. The touch screen has become pervasive in homes, offices, manufacturing and medical environments. This is in part due to the high degree of flexibility that it gives to designers and end-users.  

A touch screen provides a space to share visual content and interact so intuitively that most toddlers can do it without any training. Professional devices in the office space and medical applications draw from this simplicity to create high value products to their customers. 

However, sharing uncleaned touch surfaces is a matter of concern. All public and shared interfaces like keyboards, computer mouse, and office accessories should be properly cleaned to avoid spreading germs. The good news is that simple disinfectants are effective against this! 

Easy disinfecting 

One of the advantages of touch screens are how easy they are to clean. All Cisco Webex Rooms touch screens have glass screen that is resistant to most common alcohol-based disinfectants. As recommended in our guideline, use a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol onto a clean, soft cloth and wipe gently.  

Several of our products are actively being used in the frontlines of medical research and treatment in hospitals around the world. They help to connect specialists and provide better care to patients. In this situation, keeping devices clean according to medical regulations is critical. Fortunately, the design of Cisco Webex Rooms products allows for thorough surface disinfection. 

Avoid unnecessary touching altogether

Nevertheless, some users prefer to keep their devices personal or avoid unnecessary touching altogether. For these users we would recommend keeping a personal pen for the Webex Board, which can be ordered as a spare part through our partners. The PIDs, depending on the product are in the table. 

CS-BRD-PENKIT=  Cisco Webex Board S Pen Kit – 2 pens with 6 extra tips

 

CS-BRD-PENKITSOFT=  Cisco Webex Board Pen Kit – 3 pens with fixed soft tips 

 

CS-DESK-STYLUSKIT=  Cisco Webex Desk Pro Stylus Kit (2x stylus, 4x tips) 

 

Safety First

Cisco is actively working with the market leaders in the Global Infection Prevention industry on the best ways to clean and disinfect our products for the safety and health of our customers and their employees and will continue to update our guidelines regularly.  

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