We understand that running a webinar can be a daunting task, particularly if you’re a virgin to the platform. A webinar is an online event, with the main differentiation from a web meeting being that you can present to much larger audiences. To learn more about the differences click here. Presenting to a large audience often means there is an element of pressure involved. Here are some handy tips to try and help you minimise the butterflies and present with as much panache as you see fit. Hopefully helping you become a webinar maestro.

Preparation!!!

You will have heard it before, the classic by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. With webinars this really is the case, you’re setting yourself up for varying degrees of embarrassment if you fail to plan. Bear in mind that your audience are unlikely to sympathise with a company that hasn’t bothered to prepare. It’s crucial that you have a firm understanding of what you want to achieve with your webinar. Whether this be generating new leads or training new recruits, you want to make sure that this is set out prior to holding your event. Obvious stuff, we know.

Once that’s all sorted you can start exploring the platform itself. Luckily webinar platforms, like our own make it very easy to plan with our step-by-step video tutorials. The next step is to choose how you would like to deliver your event. If you don’t feel confident enough to present live, you don’t have to. You can pre-record your event. This ensures everything is in tip top shape and you can revise and rehearse to your heart’s desire. Another nifty thing about webinars is that you can have them on-demand, so even after you’ve finished broadcasting, they can still be accessed. Once you’ve got all the prep done and dusted, it’s time to start thinking about the content.

Content is King

The difference between your webinar being a huge success and being a huge failure lies in the content. Webinar platforms allow a variety of content to be uploaded beforehand, from PowerPoint slides to video. Your content will change depending on the purpose of your event, but the priority should be that it is engaging and relevant. Doing a launch for an exciting new product and then having a two-hour webinar featuring an Excel spreadsheet on sales projections isn’t going to cut it. If you have the time and resources why not do a trial run with people on the office. This will help you gauge if your featured content is hitting the spot.

Make sure whatever you include is worthwhile for your audience and justifies their investment in your event. There are also many features built into the platform that allow you to measure audience engagement. You’ll have access to polls, surveys, Q&A, all there with the purpose of helping you understand how your event is performing. Remember practice makes perfect, so if your content fails to wow your audience, take notes and try to improve for next time.

Make the most of the features

Webinar platforms are often rich in features. To produce the best quality events, you will want to make sure you are utilising as many features as you can. If you are trying to generate leads and grow your customer base, then make sure you are paying close attention to the analytics. Another great thing about webinars is you can customise how your audience registers for your event. Therefore, you can collect only the most important data.

Try to use the features creatively, to peak your audiences’ interest and leave a lasting impression. This will include interacting with them throughout the event. Making sure your content is relevant and following up with your audience once the event has concluded. You’re unlikely to improve future events without customer feedback. Use whatever constructive criticism you may receive to your advantage, to build bigger and better webinars.

Maybe not the ULTIMATE guide but we promise that following these tips will help you become a webinar maestro in no time.

Creating a healthy workplace is key to harnessing your employees’ productivity, keeping them happy and motivated to do their best possible work. A recent study carried out by Wrike confirmed the importance of having a chirpy workforce. They surveyed 4,000 workers across the UK, France, Germany and the US. Results showed that four in 10 took a pay cut in favour of a job that made them happier, with most elated employees claiming to be “very productive” at work.

So, what can you do to ensure all your employees are bundles of joy? Raring to go and consistently doing their best work. There is no clear-cut answer, although there does seem to be a consensus around certain factors. These are offering flexible working, providing your workforce with meaningful work and maintaining a supportive company culture.

Offering flexible working

Surprise, surprise, we are talking about flexible working. We love to put emphasis on the importance of flexible working and for good reason. Our 2019 Flexible Working Survey found that 35% of people surveyed would request flexible working over a pay rise. 81% believed that flexible working would make a job more attractive to them and 79% thought working flexibly would make them more productive.

By allowing staff to work flexibly you are giving them the option to work at a time that best suits them. This in turn hopefully makes them feel trusted and appreciated. You’re one step closer to a healthy workplace, full of workers with a spring in their step. Offering flexibility also caters to individuals’ hectic lives. For most people work often competes with many other obligations, a flexible work life allows them to better manage other elements of their life. They can attend that teacher parent day or avoid the stresses that come with the daily commute. All this serves to boost morale and increase employee engagement, helping your business grow and continue to succeed.

Instilling purpose and meaning

Very few people enjoy doing work that has no direct benefit or meaning. If someone doesn’t understand the impact of their work it can feel pointless, increasing the chances of them burning out or seeking new opportunities. Compare this to completing work that you know is beneficial to the company, is helping your fellow workers and pushes your boundaries, it’s a no-brainer.

Meaningful work is significantly more likely to boost engagement and satisfaction. Also, this type of work is much more likely to be appreciated. Showing your workforce appreciation and letting them know they are doing a good job is bound to make them feel happy and valued, only encouraging them to continue being productive and produce top notch work. We understand that meaningful work is very hard to define and can come in numerous variations. However, demonstrating value in whatever work your employees are carrying out is essential.

Creating a supportive work culture

Feeling like you can’t ask for help at work can make an individual feel powerless. Spending most of your time with people you don’t like can be draining and isolating. Creating an environment where workers fear they will be scorned for mistakes is an unhealthy environment. Making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process. Enabling employees to try and fail without fear creates a culture full of creativity and innovation.

Developing a healthy workplace culture can be very challenging, every individual is different and it’s inevitable that certain people will clash. This is where creating a strong core of company values can be useful, helping you target the type of people you want working for your company. This can be as simple as treating all staff honestly and with integrity. Again, going back to an earlier point, showing appreciation is essential in creating a supportive working environment. If you are spending 8 hours or more a day working without an inkling of gratitude, you will soon realise that this company is not for you.

This is just a start

Creating a healthy workplace  can be achieved and with this you can almost guarantee happier and more engaged employees. This is in no way a definitive list, unfortunately we are not that wise. Hopefully this will provide some useful steppingstones and get you going on the path towards a more positive and joyful workplace.

Advancements in mobile technology are not showing any signs of slowing up. Rumblings about 5G in the tech world have existed for a fair few years. In 2013 leading mobile manufacturers Samsung and Huawei announced plans to invest in 5G, with Samsung predicting that by 2022 they will have sold £7 billion worth of 5G equipment[1]. Late last year news publications began to announce that 5G is indeed a reality. Vodafone announced that their 5G network will go live on July 3rd. It’s safe to say that progress has been very speedy, no pun intended. So how fast will 5G be and what impact will it have on the future of office communications? Is no one going to bother coming into the office because they can just show up as a hologram. That would all be very Black Mirror wouldn’t it.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless network and is the latest innovation in mobile technology. It follows the release of 4G, which was deployed in 2009. 5G will greatly increase the speed and efficiency of wireless networks and promises download speeds 10 to 20 times faster than we have now, meaning all tasks we carry out on our smartphones will perform better and faster[2].

How 5G will impact future office communications

5G has the potential to vastly improve Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video calls and the overall web meeting experience.

With faster network speeds the quality of VoIP on mobile phones will increase. VoIP quality using 4G results in great strains on mobile networks, with 5Gs increased speed and efficiency this strain will be greatly reduced. VoIP quality and reliability will stay consistent if you’re on a 5G network, happy days.

As well as improving VoIP the faster network speeds will greatly improve video calls. This means that video calls with 5G will outperform current models by a whopping 20 times. It doesn’t end there, video calls using 5G technology will incorporate elements of AI and augmented reality[3]. Although, it could take several years before applications and software work out how-to best harness 5G. When they do though, it will have a drastic impact on office communications, enabling client video calls to run seamlessly.

With the inclusion of augmented reality, that presentation you’ve been working on can be brought to life. You could potentially have meetings with people all over the world using a VR headset in a virtual meeting room, that would definitely take some getting used to. This will only compliment the growing trend in remote working, where the difference between virtual and face-to-face meetings becomes increasingly indistinguishable.

Smart workplaces

As well as impacting how workplace meetings take place, 5G has the potential to drastically change the infrastructure of offices, creating work environments that are ultra-smart and completely interconnected through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Earlier I mentioned a future where remote working will only increase, eventually creating a world where there will be no need for physical meeting rooms due to the capabilities of 5G. The absence of physical meeting rooms means that workplaces could reduce in size significantly, therefore businesses acquiring properties that would have previously never been suitable as an office.

Reducing physical workspace is one thing but we could also see traditional office technology vanishing, such as desktop PCs. Recently SK Telecom, Samsung and Cisco announced a collaboration project to create offices specifically designed to complement 5G. They unveiled a Samsung DeX a hot desk solution that connects an individual’s smartphone to a docking station, creating a mobile virtual desktop infrastructure[4].

So, there you have it…

A very brief look at the potential impacts 5G can have on the office. The roll out for 5G will be coming soon, yet the exciting scenarios outlined above are still quite a way off. At least this gives us time to brace ourselves for a world that seems to reflect premonitions of several 1990s sci-fi directors.

It may be wise to think about how your company could adopt 5G, as it certainly has the potential to help businesses run more efficiently and productively. Exciting times ahead of us!

[1] https://www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/tech-innovation/timeline-of-5g-development-3654794/

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44871448

[3] https://www.videoconferencingdaily.com/latest-technology/the-first-5g-video-call-is-a-step-toward-a-fast-flexible-future/

[4] https://www.zdnet.com/article/sk-telecom-samsung-and-cisco-to-collaborate-in-5g-smart-offices/

The UK government is taking measures to combat pollution, but businesses can also play a part by using technology to help reduce pollution and work a little smarter.

With this year’s World Environment Day theme being Beat Air Pollution and recent protests across London, the pressure to reduce air pollution has never felt more pressing. The Guardian reported that although air pollution in London is falling, two million people are still living in areas with illegal pollution[1].

1. Reducing emissions through implementing flexible working

At PowWowNow, we believe in the power of flexible working and we’re not the only ones. Our 2019 flexible working survey showed 68% of British workers are offered flexible working compared to 54% in 2018. 81% of people from our survey believe that flexible working would make a job more attractive to them.

Web conferencing technology has several features ensuring employees stay productive. You can screen share, introduce a video call, present and annotate documents. Almost everything you would do in a face-to-face meeting can be carried out online, cutting travel costs and doing the environment a favour.

Flexible working doesn’t only allow employees to work from the comfort of their home, it has a positive effect on the environment by cutting out the trip to the office. With advancements in conferencing technology, employees are no longer restricted by location.

2. Investing in efficient workplace tech

Advancements in technology are not restricted to making the consumers life easier, advancements often mean the tech runs more efficiently. One of the simplest and cheapest switches businesses can make, starts with the mundane – lights. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than an incandescent or halogen bulb, making them drastically more efficient at converting energy[2].

It’s not only bulbs that businesses can consider when trying to run a more environmentally friendly office. A lot of tech now comes with an energy star rating. Businesses should consider purchasing tech with an Energy Star label as they use 30-65 per cent less electricity, again reducing costs but also making the planet a little happier.

3. Installing renewable energy sources for the office

Perhaps the most effective, but also the costliest way technology can help reduce pollution is through investing in renewable energy. In the UK businesses consume 56% of energy[3], making them a major contribution to the UK’s carbon emissions. With advancements in solar technology it could be wise to start exploring ways it could benefit your business.

Installing solar panels may seem like a huge step but in the long run it could save your business thousands of pounds, whilst also doing your part to combat pollution. Businesses such as Google, IKEA and M&S have all committed to the RE100 initiative, a global commitment to 100% renewable power, so you will be in good company.

Some commitments are greater than others but every little helps.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/01/air-pollution-falling-london-millions-still-exposed

[2] https://www.lyco.co.uk/advice/what-is-led-a-beginners-guide-to-led-lighting/

[3] https://www.bqlive.co.uk/environment-water/2019/06/05/news/five-ways-workplace-technology-is-helping-tackle-climate-change-35616/