Conducting Safe, Effective Home Office Meetings in 2021

working from home in 2021

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Guest Post by Lucy Reed.

We live in very different times than we did just over a year and a half ago. While most areas of the country are returning to pre-pandemic routines, some are bringing back restrictions. In any case, it’s safe to say that business is conducted much differently than it used to be, and we can expect it to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

If you run a home-based business, chances are you will need to host both in-person and virtual meetings on a regular basis. With safety and efficiency in mind, The Underdog Print Shop has provided some practical advice for how you can do that:

In-Person Meetings

While technology comes with its perks, sometimes business calls for meeting in person. Here are some ways you can ensure the safety of both you and your clients when they come to your office:

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Ventilation reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Take every precaution you can to ensure adequate ventilation in your office. Frequently check that your HVAC system is working properly, and on hot days, consider opening the windows in your office.

Using UV

For more than 100 years, ultraviolet (UV) lights have been shown to kill bacteria, mold, and viruses. These lights are now used in hospitals, grocery stores, and restaurants for germicidal purposes. Look into installing air sanitizing or coil sanitizing lights in your HVAC system.

Wearing Masks  

Though there has been no shortage of confusion surrounding the topic of mask-wearing over the last year and a half, we can be fairly certain that wearing one doesn’t hurt. As long as your clients are OK with it, consider wearing masks anytime you have an in-person meeting.

Taking Other Precautions

Other simple precautions you can take for meetings in your office include social distancing and using hand sanitizer. General guidelines still define social distancing as keeping six feet of distance between you and others. And consider keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer available for any clients who come in.

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings such as Zoom calls have become the norm for many companies. Let’s touch on a few methods for how you can make your virtual meetings more effective:

Implementing Tech

Along with the video conferencing software itself that you use for virtual meetings, consider other types of technology that you can use to boost your operations. For instance, there are a plethora of SaaS offerings on the market specifically designed for small business owners. Invest in software to automate tasks like batch invoicing, tax calculating and filing, and time tracking. Such products, in turn, can reduce the need for meeting clients in person.

Setting Up Lighting  

Lighting is critical to a professional-looking virtual meeting. And nothing is better than natural lighting. Position your meeting spot in an area that provides plenty of natural light. If you need additional lighting, turn to floor lamps or desk lamps.

Staging Your Background

Virtual backgrounds, like those found on Zoom, tend to appear unprofessional. Instead, opt for virtual staging.

Designate a corner of your office for virtual meetings, and be sure to keep it tidy and decluttered at all times. You don’t want your background to be overly complex, but it doesn’t hurt to have some interesting, attractive furniture and decor in the background, such as a minimal abstract by The Underdog Print Shop!

Dressing the Part

Finally, just as your office needs to look its best, so do you. The safest bet is to dress professionally from top to bottom. Wear clothes that you would feel confident wearing if you were working outside of your house. Remember—your appearance will play a part in the first impression you give to clients, and it will serve as an indicator of how seriously you take your business.

Times have changed, and the changes are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future. If you want your company to be successful, it’s critical to roll with the punches and make the most of your in-person and virtual meetings. Along with the advice above, keep looking for other ways that you can keep your meetings as safe and effective as possible.

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