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Best practices for hosting virtual interviews

Hosting the virtual interview

Interviews are perhaps the most critical part of the hiring process. They allow your company to get to know applicants and assess both their role-specific knowledge and soft skills, as well as their interpersonal abilities and overall fit. Similarly, they help potential hires better understand the role they are applying for and overall company culture in a way that goes beyond a job posting or “About Us” section of your organization’s website.

Luckily, digital tools for video conferencing and connecting with others have made it easier for businesses to find the right applicant. Let’s look at the value of virtual interviews and three best practices for hosting them.

Interviewing in a virtual world

Since the beginning of the year, 86% of organizations have shifted to virtual interviews.* Though, Lauren Smith, vice president in the Gartner HR practice, said that “many recruiting functions were already conducting virtual interviews, including using video interviewing technology for remotely located candidates; however, this now is the norm for all candidates given the current environment.” It’s showing organizations what can be done—in expanding reach, saving time and money.*

The right video conferencing solution puts people face-to-face, authentically simulating the in-person interview experience without requiring the interviewers and interviewees to be in the same place, at the same time.

Virtual interviews enable businesses to search far and wide for the most qualified new hires, regardless of where they’re located. Applicants, meanwhile, don’t have to try to coordinate complicated travel plans if they don’t live near your company’s offices or drastically re-arrange their schedules if they do.

Best practices drive productive virtual interviews

A dependable video conferencing platform is the foundation of consistently positive remote interviews. The following best practices can help your organization make the most of these opportunities.

  1. The right tools, time, and preparation

As the organization hosting the interview, your team should be prepared and extend the same courtesy to interviewees. That means making the date, time, and expected duration clear as soon as possible, so candidates and internal stakeholders alike can block off time on their calendars.

Having the right video conferencing platform is also crucial. A dependable and accessible platform will:

  • Be widely accessible with standard web browsers and operating systems.
  • Offer compatibility with basic video conferencing tools, like built-in cameras.
  • Allow your company to record parts or all of the call, if necessary. In these cases, your business needs to provide the relevant disclosures and consent forms, as Monster explained.
  • Not require the applicant to pay for software or setup.

Sharing a link to the meeting and specifying the software to be used allows candidates to ensure everything is in good working order before the interview starts. That ultimately saves everyone time.

While not a requirement, your company can offer to set up a short test call ahead of time to ensure everyone can connect as planned. You can also leave it up to candidates to ask for a test call before the interview, as an increasing number of professionals are familiar with video conferencing systems.

  1. Creating a professional environment

Thoughtful, professional candidates take care to make a good first impression. Your company should do the same thing.

A professional environment isn’t just for the office. A professional environment can be created anywhere you are. Set up your computer and run a test call with a teammate to make sure the area is clean, uncluttered, and has appropriate lighting. You should also check on technical specifications like the resolution of your webcam, your position relative to it – adjust your chair height or move the webcam to reach the desired result – and the output volume of your microphone. Remote employment service, FlexJobs, also recommended making it clear that you’re conducting an interview:

  • Close the door and put up a sign or other reminder that an interview is in progress.
  • Schedule the time on your calendar in advance.
  • Silence your phone.
  • Close other programs on your computer to avoid slowdowns and notifications from popping up during the interview.
  1. Consistency in interviewing

Some best practices that apply to in-person interviews are just as relevant for virtual ones. Preparing interview questions ahead of time, and using a standardized format for all interviewees, is especially important.

This approach helps to create a level playing field for everyone involved. While the responses of candidates can and should lead to more individualized follow-up questions and comments, having potential hires answer the same foundational questions provides a consistent basis for comparison. It can also assist in removing unconscious biases from the interview and hiring processes.

Video conferencing helps your company find the best candidates

Drawing from a local talent pool is often valuable, but casting a wider net potentially means bringing in more qualified applicants. This can help fill positions faster without sacrificing quality and keep your company operating at peak levels.

Virtual interviews simulate the entire in-person interview process, allowing for subtle indicators like body language and tone of voice to be just as clear as they are in person. Leveraging this valuable tool is simple with a little planning and preparation.

Give your company the tools it needs to successfully host virtual interviews — get started with a free Cisco Webex plan today


86% of companies are conducting job interviews via video conference

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Happy Mother’s Day from Cisco Webex

Mother’s Day- a time to remember and celebrate

I am a mother. I have two beautiful daughters who are all grown up. Well, mostly. They are in college, but are now sheltering-in-place with me. What a blessing to have them back home! I still remember when I was pregnant with them – and especially my first. I wanted so much to meet her, but at the same time wasn’t sure I was ready for motherhood. Obviously, it turned out OK and I am grateful every day that I get to be their mom.   


The Ellen Show welcomes first-time expectant mothers!

Which is why I was so excited to watch the Mother’s Day Show on The Ellen Show last week – the producers brought 25 first-time expectant mothers together using Cisco Webex as the platform.  

These soon-to-be new moms joined from the comfort of their homes, laughing along with jokes about pregnancy and cravings (banana splits and pickles!).

These soon-to-be new moms joined from the comfort of their homes, laughing along with jokes about pregnancy and cravings (banana splits and pickles).

Making mom feel special

And because social distancing has put a halt to most baby showers, The Ellen DeGeneres Show threw one for all the guests, complete with gifts – all perfectly selected for first-time moms!  

I love that our own technology can play a part in celebrating Mother’s Day and making it special for these women.  

So, on behalf of Cisco Webex, and this mom, I wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day! 💐 

See how Cisco supports The Ellen DeGeneres Show 

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Irene and Troy — A Webex wedding!

How Live From Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community

In a world without sports, we can still live our best #LifeOnWebex

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Irene and Troy
Irene and Troy – A Webex wedding!

A virtual wedding on Webex

Irene Ingham and Troy Mitchell entered 2020 as a newly engaged couple with all the excitement and anticipation of being wed in the company of loved ones. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, a monumental pivot would be required if the wedding were to take place and so the couple decided to get married on Webex.

“This simply worked for us because we were able to share this special day with my entire family from the comfort of their own homes.” said Irene, “A lot of them are on the East Coast and my dad is older, so we knew that travel would not be easy. This was the best way to get everyone together and we were able to include more people than would have otherwise been possible. Plus, it gave us all something to look forward to! Most importantly, I was still able to get married and we were able to do it in a truly memorable and unique way thanks to the support of a company I love working for, Cisco.”

How one connection changed everything

Irene, a communications manager at Cisco, met Troy two years ago on Bumble, the social networking app where women make the first move and must initiate the conversation. Needless to say, that first conversation took place and the couple began their dating journey as they bonded over similar interests including their Christian faith and love of family, fitness, food and fun. Irene shared that she’s never laughed as much as she has with Troy and that this light-hearted, joyful approach to life is what made the shift to a virtual wedding so easy.

“At Bumble, we’re believers that one connection can change the course of your life, and we love that Irene and Troy are a great example of this,” said Chelsea Cain Maclin, Bumble’s Vice President of Marketing. “During this time, we see that our community of 90 million worldwide is practicing physical distancing at home. That said, we don’t want our users to distance socially just because they’re physically apart. It’s incredible to see how our community is being creative during these times, whether it’s by going on a virtual date with someone you matched with on Bumble or an entire virtual wedding experience.”

Focusing on an authentic experience for the couple and their guests

The wedding took place on Friday, April 24th in the scenic backyard of Irene and Troy’s El Dorado Hills home. Physically present with the couple were two of their daughters, Alexis and Sage. Everyone else, including family, friends, and colleagues, joined online. Everyone was dressed in their own wedding attire, brought their own drinks to toast, and watched the nuptials via a private Webex video sharing session. In preparation for the big day, Cisco went the extra mile to ensure an intimate experience for all the guests of this online wedding experience. The Cisco collaboration team provided the couple with a Cisco TelePresence SX10 Quick Set, a video system that sits atop a flat-panel display, and uses a VPN router for remote control of the camera during the wedding. With the display positioned in front of the couple, it was as if each excited attendee was actually there, celebrating this moment with the couple in their own backyard.

Cisco TelePresence SX10 Quick Set

Blessing for the union goes beyond measure

Weddings are one of life’s most joyous occasions and this wedding was no different. While friends and family joined from all over the country via Webex, everyone brought their love and joy to share with the couple. Joining from South Carolina, Irene’s father was unable to physically walk his daughter down the aisle and instead provided a recording to be shared with all expressing, in his wonderful Greek accent, the depth of his love and happiness for Irene. “I said Dad, just say what you’d say if you were standing at the altar giving me away,” said Irene.

Angelo Kornaros

Guests get transported to the ‘I do’

The ceremony incorporated as much of their family as possible. Irene’s brother, David Kornaros, ordained minister and Cisco employee officiated the wedding over Webex from South Carolina. Irene’s other brother Steven joined from Mariposa, California, and with his two daughters serenaded the couple with a wedding song. Special video messages expressing their joy for the couple were sent by Irene’s parents from South Carolina, Troy’s parents from Nevada, and their two other daughters who were in Washington and Texas. With over 200 people attending the virtual wedding from their homes across America, this was truly a country-wide gathering with social distancing of one to 2,400 miles.

webex wedding party

“We both love hi-tech and have always worked for innovative companies so it’s perfect that we have the opportunity to get married in such a unique way.” said Irene, “One of the things I love most in our relationship is that we’re always trying to find the positive in situations. Video conferencing is part of our daily work life, so we’re very comfortable bringing our wedding into a virtual setting where we can share our joy and make it fun for everybody, including ourselves.”

webex wedding

A Webex reception to remember

To round off this incredible occasion, Cisco and Bumble joined forces to bring the happy couple and their virtual guests one final surprise. Joining live from Nashville via a Cisco Webex Desk Pro was Billboard’s Top New Country Artist and ACM New Male Artist of the Year nominee, Jordan Davis. Irene and Troy enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife to the hit, Slow Dance in a Parking Lot which was then followed by 2 group dances (Singles You Up & So Do I).

Jordon Davis

With so many events having been cancelled or postponed, this wedding is a great example of how technology and creativity can come together to deliver a uniquely beautiful and memorable moment that brought joy to the couple and all who attended.

“We are so grateful that Bumble brought us together to fall in love and that Webex was there to help us tie the knot.”

See how others are staying connected with their #LifeonWebex

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Working remotely with Webex. Office desk workspace and table background from top view above flat lay objects. Modern minimal design desktop for creative working. Minimalism concept.
Tips for WFH when everyone else is home

Stay on track from home with Webex

So, you’re working remotely how’s it going? If you’re like most people, its an entirely new experience. If you’re like me, you’re dealing with parenting, homeschooling, limited personal space, and cabin fever, all while keeping up with work. 

I’ve been a remote worker for six years now, thanks to tools I use every day like Cisco AnyConnect VPN, Cisco Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams. The transition to working remotely was easy for me back when I was all alone in my home office, my husband was away working in his office, and my kids were in school. Now that everyone in my household is working and schooling from home, I’ve had to make some adjustments. 

I’ve gathered a few real-world tips here for any of you who, like myself, are not only remote working, but also at-home parenting, teaching, self-caring, and everything else we’re doing in our homes now. 

1) Wake up, take a shower, and get dressed

  • Keeping some semblance of a normal routine has been crucial for me. I’ve gotten some time back in the mornings since I’m not getting my kids up, making them breakfast, and getting them off to school early in the morning any longer. Now, I get to enjoy a shower, drink my coffee, take care of my appearance, and revel in a little quiet time before all my new “coworkers” are awake and my workday begins.
  • When getting dressed, I go for a “business on top, yoga on the bottom” look. I’m on video meetings all day long, so maintaining a professional experience is necessary (usually, I can only be seen from the waist up). However, there are times I have to stand up and walk around, so being appropriately dressed on the bottom is important! No one wants to be that Webex legend who was on a meeting with no pants. Yikes!
  • I recommend dressing all your new “coworkers,” too—kids, spouses, partners, or anyone else who’s at home with you. Unexpected cameos in video meetings are common, and we’re guessing your family doesn’t want to be Webex legends either. Here’s my husband crushing the look. 

I recommend dressing all your new “coworkers,” too—kids, spouses, partners, or anyone else who’s at home with you. Caroline Wright's husband wearing a dark blue jacket a lilac button up shirt with purple and lilac tie wearing khaki shorts

2) Make it clear to family or roommates when you’ll be available and when you will be in meetings

  • I have a 14yearold, a 9yearold, and a 47yearold. They all need me or want to speak with me throughout the day. I have learned to set clear expectations for when I’ll be available and when my office is off-limits. I typically accomplish this by yelling at everyone about five minutes before my meeting starts: “I am about to start a meeting! I’ll be done at 3 pm!” or “I am in a customer/public meeting until noondo not come in my office, and NO FIGHTING!”
  • This won’t always be successful. My sons and husband have wandered into my office at times. If this happens to you, don’t sweat it. Life happens. Everyone is settling in to this new way of working, so forgive yourself and others if this happens to them, too. If your kids are feeling lonely, share your space with them. My younger son likes to bring his laptop into my office and sit next to me doing his quiet work while I’m on my video meetings–he knows how to stay out of camera view, and it’s fun for me to have him there beside me, both of us working sidebyside.
  • Be aware that others are in the same boat, juggling kids and priorities while doing their best to show up professionally as well. Grace and patience are something we all need to keep in mind for ourselves, as well as the people we’re working with.

3) Make the most out of your remote work environment

  • If you’re going to be on video meetings, make sure you have soft, natural lighting and that your surroundings are “video ready. Working from your bedroom? Make your bed and scoot that pile of dirty laundry out of view. Working from a shared space? Buy a screen to place behind youit will block out any of your surroundings so the focus can be on you. Many online retailers sell a variety of beautiful folding screens that can be used while you’re working and folded and put away when you are done. 

CarolineWright'ssonphotobombinghermeeting. Son peaking in from behind the door wearing red hoodie while Caroline wearing a white dress jacket and black glasses sees reflection and shows a smirk

  • A personal video endpoint device like the Cisco Webex DX80 is a gamechanger, but video works great with laptops and mobile devices, too! For the best video experience with any device, ensure your video camera is at an ideal level. You’ll want your camera at or above eye level to avoid the unfortunate “camera up the nose” look or the dreaded double chin.

    If you don’t have a fancy laptop stand, use a stack of books, puzzles, or an empty box to ensure your laptop and camera are at an appropriate viewing angle. You want to make sure you show up nicely in your video view. Before joining a Webex Meeting, you will see a preview of your video, which is the perfect time to adjust your hair or your camera angle.   

remote office laptop atop board games including roundies and cadoo on top of a foldable table and rocking chair used as a deskchair

  • Anywhere can be a remote office. Use what you have!
  • Use a headset. I love, love, love my headset. It has excellent noisecanceling capabilities, so when my kids decide to reenact WWE or my dog goes crazy barking at squirrels, that background noise doesn’t make it into my meetings. As a best practice, I keep my line muted when I’m not speaking or presenting. When I do speak, it’s great to know those noises won’t become a distraction for the other folks in my meeting. The headset also helps me tune out the distractions that may be happening in my house.

4) Block out time on your calendar for lunch and breaks

  • Seriously. Do this. Especially if you have kids who aren’t old enough to make their own lunches, launch their virtual classroom tools, or just need some hugs during this crazy time. Blocking out time on your calendar helps ensure you are taking care of yourself and those who depend on you. It also lets coworkers know when you’re unavailable. Take a break. Eat lunch with your partner or kids, walk outside (six feet away from others, of course), put that stack of laundry in the washing machine.

I hope these tips will help you adjust to working remotely. Please reach out to me with any questions on how my family and I are making this new life work for us. We’re not perfect, but we’re making it work, and I’m happy to share our experiences. 

Learn more with guidance on working remotely

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About the Author, Caroline Wright

Caroline WrightCaroline leads the Enablement efforts for Cloud Collaboration Customer Success at Cisco. She is passionate about creating a welcoming culture where ongoing development and education deliver a world-class Customer Success team for Cisco’s Collaboration suite.

Before Cisco, Caroline had over 10 years of SaaS industry experience in sales, customer service, and training. She lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina, outside the state capital of Raleigh with her husband, two sons, and their dog. She loves going to the beach, traveling, reading, 90’s hip hop, and honing her mad trivia skills. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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In a world without sports, we can still live our best #LifeOnWebex
In a world without sports, we can still live our best #LifeOnWebex

Connecting fans with sports with #LifeOnWebex

So often, sport provides a respite from a chaotic world. It brings people together around a shared passion and offers a welcome distraction from our stressful lives. But what happens when that too goes away?

Today, the importance of technology in bringing people together has become more apparent than ever, which is why we have been working hard over the past few weeks to leverage our partnerships across the sports and entertainment industries in meaningful and relevant ways. By working together with our partners at the United States Golf Association, City Football Group, Jimmy Kimmel Live and more, we’re trying to bring some of that connection to fans around the world and showcase what #LifeOnWebex is all about.

Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to:

Connecting players with fans

Together with New York City Football Club, we launched a program entitled “The Friendly Match” connecting players from the club with local fans via Webex to help lift their spirits. I highly recommend checking out this heartwarming kickoff to the series and stay tuned for episodes all week long on both NYCFC and Cisco’s social channels. Plus, check out NYCFC social channels as host Ian Paul Joy interviews players multiple times per week via Webex.

Best of golf

We partnered with golf influencer Erik Anders Lang to host the largest pro golfer podcast ever via Webex, featuring seven of our #TeamCisco ambassadors. The group discussed everything from how they’re keeping busy, to swing thoughts, dream destinations and more. #Squadgoals, indeed. We’re also supporting’s new project “That’s Debatable,” where GOLF editors are using Webex to face off in a March Madness-style bracket debating hot topics in the game.

Keeping Hollywood connected

We’re also keeping Hollywood connected by helping shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live broadcast remotely. We’ve been working with Jimmy Kimmel Live for six years now, and like many of our customers, they use a mix of Cisco Webex devices and collaboration software. Check out the clip below of Jimmy interviewing Ellen DeGeneres via Webex in a recent episode.

Supporting what matters

Finally, we were honored to be a part of in Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home special event that supported the World Health Organization’s global fight against the pandemic. The event featured incredible performances by artists like Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, John Legend, and more, and raised more than $125M towards the fight against COVID-19. If you missed it, you can watch the performances from the event here.

Be sure to stay tuned to the @Webex channel over the coming weeks and months to see how our partners and athletes are living their best #LifeonWebex.

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How Live from Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community. Banner that reads Live From Home . Cisco's first music virtual event. A weekly virtual series to inspire hope through the performing arts with AppDynamics and Cisco Webex. Background picture of a 70s theme looking living room with green furniture yello pillows, turquoise crystal lamp and a beagle dog curled up on the couch with sleepy eyes
How Live From Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community

Front row seats at Live from Home

Cisco has always believed in using technology to improve lives around the world. What better way of doing that than combining music and technology to deliver a performance?

LiveFrom Home Event

On April 7, 2020 Cisco Webex and AppDynamics worked together to put on an event that paid artists in need and gave 653 people the unique experience where you can support artists and nonprofits from the comfort of your home while getting a “front row seat” to weekly concerts.

The event, Live from Home, was streamed on Webex Events and gave four artists the chance to connect with a virtual audience through music. While watching the performances, the audience then had a chance to donate to the nonprofit of the week, Blue Bear School of Music!

“The caliber of talent for the first Live from Home series was amazing. It was inspiring to connect to other employees across Cisco through music performances. I’m happy to work at a company that cares about the community and gives me the resources to help out of work artists during this difficult time.” –  Trish Chan, Director of Web and Digital Marketing at AppDynamics.


The debut of the series was hosted by LA-based comedian, Catherine Adell, whom you might have seen in Jim Carrey’s Kidding on Showtime. Artists Ashley Campbell, Julian Velard, Ari Hest, and Barnaby Bright come from all over the United States; New York City, Massachusetts, and Arizona with one thing in common. No place to perform and a home with just the right setup.


“Just because we’re sheltering-in-place, doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying life. I’m very proud that the Webex platform is able to connect these artists to a large audience and bring a little bit of fun into our lives.” – Aruna Ravichandran, VP, Global Marketing, Webex/Collaboration.

While most of us might say we use Webex to connect with colleagues, we think Live from Home encompasses what #LifeonWebex really means.

People and community.

The Cisco community is huge. We think through showcasing these artists live from home, we just made it bigger.

So be sure to mark your calendar for our upcoming virtual events!

Jazz Night

Cisco's First Music virtual event. Neon signboard with microphone in round frame. Nightclub with live music icon. Glowing street sign of bar with karaoke and live singers. Sound cafe icon. Rock show poster. Vector illustration.

Event: Jazz Night

Day: April 14th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: vma0414 (8620414 from phones)

Kids nightHow Live from Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community. family father and son baby listening to music with headphones in the dark night

Event: Kids night

Day: April 21st

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

Cisco's first music virtual event. heart shape on a music note book. shallow DOF

Event: Classical Night

Day: April 28th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

Virtual platform on Virtual Experience Hub

And guess what? Live from Home will be the first program streamed through the Virtual Experience Hub for the public. The Virtual Experience Hub is an effort from Cisco’s Growth Marketing organization to offer users a robust virtual platform that bridges efforts across the physical and digital landscape by providing users an exceptional customer experience for events.


Stay tuned

These are the future dates and themes for the public events. More information to come, so stay tuned!

Event: Special 2H Program

Day: May 5 th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD


Event: Musical Theater Night

Day: May 12th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD


Event: Comedy Night

Day: May 19th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD


Event: Dance Night

Day: May 26th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

What’s next?

Music is meant to be shared and experienced together. So be sure to check out the next Live from Home event on April 14 and invite your family and friends.

Support Live From Home Performance Series Fund

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The weekend's here. Happy indian woman look at webcam doing job interview videochat
How to have fun, virtually

Level up your remote collaboration

Enjoying a nice meal together, going out for happy hour, or even hosting a game night are all fun ways to get together with friends and family. But how do you have fun when everyone is in different locations or you just want a night in to yourself? As pioneers of remote collaboration, Cisco Webex is full of fun ways to connect. Here are some of our favorites! 

Work out with friends

Did you skip your morning workout? No worries! Find online workouts and keep yourself accountable by virtually meeting with your friends while you all work out. Into pilates? Take instruction to Webex: Connecting one pilates enthusiast to another.

Start a virtual book club

Who doesn’t love cuddling up in a cozy blanket and getting lost in a good book—it’s a great way to escape without leaving the couch. Now, you can make reading social by establishing a virtual book club. Create a space in Webex Teams to choose a book, then brew some coffee or tea, and dive into a new novel. Next, schedule a time with your friends for a review of your book over video. 

Go on a virtual tour

Want to examine fine works of art, explore historical sites, or see what NASA astronauts see in space? Most of us can’t jump on a plane and fly to the Louvre for the day, but you can still explore this famed museum and more with virtual tours. Many of these institutions are offering free online tours, and the best part is that you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas!  

Digital dinner dates

Too tired to go out or maybe you’re not feeling the best? Don’t miss family dinner or date night—make it virtual instead. Meet virtually with friends for your weekly Taco Tuesday or happy hour, grab virtual coffee with your mom, or even send recipes to your friends and compare how your creations turned out.

Break up the workday with memes

If you’re new to working from home, we suggest breaking up your work messaging and conversation with more social discussions. Don’t forget to include memes. Here at Cisco, we keep each other laughing and stay connected by sending GIFs and emojis on Webex Teams. Find out about how to be genuine and be yourself  

Virtual movie night

Swap the movie tickets for the remote and your couch. Use Webex Meetings to virtually attend the movie with friends and add in commentary. If you want to make it a virtual date night, include a meal before or after the movie using video to join your virtual date. Wine goes well with this, too! 

Find your inner child with crafts

When you want some quality you time, look no further than your kid’s craft room (or a hobby store). Pick up some markers and a coloring book or a paintbrush and canvas to create your next masterpiece. Or, if you prefer, pull out some of those old recipe cards and cook up something delicious! If your friends have kids, video is an excellent way for them to connect and do similar activities together to maintain social connections. Here are 6 tips for working from home with kids when your virtual weekend comes to an end.

Host a virtual party

Large gettogethers can be tough with friends and family all living in different cities, but with Webex Meetings, virtual parties are simple. Host special events like birthdays or a bridal shower with fun virtual games or play virtual charades or online games together over video. 

Pamper yourself

We can’t imagine anything more luxurious than a night of pampering after a long day of work. Light some candles, soak in a bubble bath, give yourself a manicure, or whatever self-care looks like to you. If you want some company, you can chat with friends virtually while giving yourself a manicure (that you can show off once you’re done!). 

Attend virtual concerts

Thanks to social media, more and more artists are hosting virtual concerts. Live stream a show by yourself or video chat with friends throughout the concert to enjoy it together.  

Learn something new

Curious about how coding works or how you can better understand data? There’s a class for that! With so many free resources for learning new skills, you can make time at home productive. 

There are hundreds of ways to stay connected, and we’d love to hear yours. Share your stories on social media using #lifeonwebex

And if you don’t already have Webex, you can sign up for the free offer, with an unlimited meeting time!

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3 tips for managing a virtual get together. A group of friends hanging out and drinking wine. Four young women in the webex meetings space. Wine glasses are put in the air to toast.
3 tips for managing a virtual get together

Meet by virtual means

Working from home? Me too.

It sounds pretty fun (and definitely has MANY perks), but can also get a bit isolating.

As remote working trends continue to increase, the shift from the office to the home “office” can feel big if you’re used to frequent water cooler conversations, taking  lunch breaks with your colleagues, and planning happy hours after work. Even for a regular “work-from-homer,” I still find myself going a little stir crazy every so often.

If you’re missing your friends or colleagues (who may also fall into the friend category), here are 3 tips for hosting and/or attending a virtual get-together:

Plan a time

If you’re with your colleagues, look at their calendars and find a time that works. You can even use a team collaboration space to suggest times, using reaction emojis, like the thumbs up, to let others know if a specific time works for you. If you don’t have visibility into calendars or a space with all invitees, texts or survey’s work as well.

Assign a host

This person is in charge of figuring out the time, sending out the invite, remembering to show up. Like a host at a party, they can greet people who join the call and mediate if everyone starts talking over one another. Prior to the call, or at the start of the call, it’s important to lay out a set of “guidelines” as well as what they should expect.

For people who have never joined a video conferencing meeting before, you can let them know in advance that they may need to download the app (if joining from a phone or new device). And it’s fun to see everyone, so encourage them to use a device with a camera.

Because there can be background distractions and noises, ask attendees to keep themselves muted until they would like to talk. In addition, unlike normal happy hours or get-togethers, side conversations are near impossible. On a video conference, they tend to result more in people talking over one another. If this happens, suggest that people try the chat tool to either directly message one person, or the entire group.

If you’re the host and need to leave early, you can assign a new host.  That way the call won’t end for everyone.

Change the layout

Webex offers three views: active speaker view, active speaker and thumbnail view, and grid view. Instead of just seeing only the person talking, change to the grid-view where you can see up to 25 different screens. This view allows for you to see everyone’s reactions and makes it feel much more like you’re all together in person. It can also help in seeing if someone is trying to talk or when someone is finished talking, limiting interruptions.

Don’t forget your snacks and drinks! Host a virtual cheers at the beginning of the call, just like you would normally if you were in person. Don’t let the computer screen prevent you from ordinary get-together rituals.

As for planning your next get together, do it before you go! Use the polling tool to suggest times and have everyone vote in real-time.

Little things can go a long way in starting a get-together, especially for those new to the video conferencing arena. So, do you think you’re ready to virtually hang out with your friends? Start planning!

And if you don’t already have Webex, you can sign up for the free offer, with an unlimited meeting time!

We hope these tips help your next get-together run smoothly! See how @bshaughn of NYC consultancy makes virtual happy hour’s happen

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Connecting one Pilates enthusiast to another. Pilates instructor holding pose on a yoga mat on a wooden floor with legs at a 45 degree angle and hands lifted two feet off the ground wearing plum-colored yoga pant and multi-color athletic shirt and her blonde pony tail and ear buds exhibiting a slight sweat
Take instruction to Webex: Connecting one pilates enthusiast to another

Virtual instruction

“Whoever thinks 10 seconds goes by fast has never done Pilates.” Thankfully Ursula’s Pilates studio didn’t let too many seconds go by before figuring out how to keep her clients engaged when unprecedented times shut down fitness studios in Germany.

Ursula has run her own Pilates studio for the past 10 years, investing in new equipment and constantly building and increasing her client base. So, when she had to temporarily close her studio doors, she had to think hard about ways she could continue her Pilates training.

With her husband working for Cisco, it was a no brainer that he encouraged her to use Webex.

Streaming live Webex lessons to engage in real-time

Implementing Webex has allowed Ursula to continue instructing her Pilates lessons. Not only can she instruct her clients on the next move, but she can perform live demonstrations, checking that her clients are doing the moves correctly and safely, not hurting themselves. The 2-way conversations enabled by Webex allows for a far richer experience than a normal prerecorded video. With #LifeOnWebex, her clients can have real time conversations, build relationships and keep up with each other as they normally would within the walls of her classroom.

Her clients remain fully engaged during the virtual Pilates sessions, keeping spirits high, hearts strong and minds healthy during these unprecedented times.

Times like this require thinking out of the box. Taking lessons virtual with Cisco technology has opened new doors for Ursula and her clients. Noticing new members have joined her classes has made Ursula realize that not everyone can travel to the studio every day. Ursula plans to expand her business model by adding virtual training sessions along with her in-person lessons when the studio reopens.

Webex has helped Ursula continue her business, strengthen the health and immune system of her clients, and provide some peace of mind.

A free Webex Meetings Plan can help keep your business fully-engaged

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

Together, Remotely

Many of our colleagues in the US, EMEAR and around the world are currently facing the twin challenges of working from home to keep essential communications up and running, AND the difficult task of keeping their children entertained during school shutdown.

The design team at Cisco thought we’d help with two simple ways to keep them and their children entertained: first we made a colouring book with signage and characters from our Webex Teams app, to help connect children to their parents work. We also made a collaborative playlist that anyone can join, so we can all jam along together while we work!

Read the full article

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Working smarter anywhere – Working remotely 

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