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Our Easymeeting Blog keeps our readers up to date with news, updates and on providing our readers with valuable insight into being more productive and using video conferencing within their organization.

 

 

 

 

What it means to deliver an Easymeeting Experience

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What it means to deliver an Easymeeting Experience

One of our core values as Easymeeting employees is to "Deliver an Easymeeting Experience" to everyone we come in contact with, but what does that mean for you?

Every day our employees, Experts to executives, strive to exceed your expectations, and leave a lasting impression on everyone we come in contact with. We want to leave you with a smile or a positive feeling that lasts long after your conversation with us.

For most of you, the Easymeeting experience begins with one of our Experts. They are trained to change the way people feel about customer service by delivering great and friendly support. Whether it is through e-mail, over the phone or over video, our customers should feel they are getting the best support possible. Our Experts understand the high value of video, and they truly want to see you get the most of your Easymeeting service.

Even our executives strive to deliver an Easymeeting experience. It's common for our founder, Hans Johan Tofteng, to reach out to customers just to ask them how they feel about the services. They also design our products with the Easymeeting experience and values in mind.

Here at Easymeeting, we believe that our customer service is one of the most important things we can deliver to our customers and most of them will tell you that it stands us apart from most other companies.  Our focus is to provide great service to positively impact everyone else’s day and we will continue to strive to make every experience with Easymeeting a great one.

Have you had an Easymeeting experience you would like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below; we would love to hear from you.

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Take a vacation... You earned it.

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Take a vacation... You earned it.

Every year, American laborers leave an estimated 429,000,000 vacation days unused according to Oxford Economics. Divide that number, and you will find that every year Americans collectively waste more than 1.17 million years  of vacation time.

An article written for BBC Capital by Mark Johnson describes the United States of America as a "no-vacation nation." Why is this, and how do we change it? I know that I have been guilty of skipping a vacation or sick day, and it has usually been because I was afraid. I have either been afraid of being out of the office for too long, falling behind on work or deadlines, missing an important email or meeting or leaving someone to pick up my slack. Some Americans even fear being fired for taking holiday or sick leave.

So let's try and fix this... Here are a few easy steps that can help ease your discomfort with the idea of being out of the office:

Know when to delegate: Delegating tasks can help you feel less overwhelmed, and ease the feeling that your job won't be getting done while you are away. If you have a vacation planned, start delegating tasks the week before. It will put your mind at ease to know that there is a point person to handle tasks or clients in your absence, and make it possible for you to relax and enjoy your time away from the office.

Create to-do lists: First, lists allow you to clearly see that the necessary tasks have been completed before leaving, and give you an idea of what you can work on when you get back. If you need help with something on your list while you are away, delegate! Secondly, if you have daily tasks that need to be covered while you are away, having a to-do list will help your coworkers see what needs to be done while you are away. Take a deep breath, and trust that they have you covered. 

Can you put a price on your mental and physical health? This if for the readers that fear losing their job because of vacation time. First of all, make sure you are following all procedures needed to get your vacation approved (I'm not telling you to take a vacation tomorrow without any notice). Vacations help employees recharge, and most people come back to work feeling more energetic and productive than when they left. Vacations are vital to keeping your mental and physical health in check, and that's worth far more than a paycheck.

Be the change you want to see in the workplace: Yes, I stole that from Ghandi, but what I am trying to say is this: if you are a manager, show your employees it is okay to take time off. Take vacations yourself, and encourage them to do the same. Nothing will alleviate your employees' "fear" of taking time off better than knowing their company and superiors want them to enjoy time away from work. 

Remember: the world will go on...

We need to remember what is important in life.  One of my favorite things about working for Easymeeting is knowing that I work for a company that values personal time and encourages vacation. This has helped me realize that life isn't only about work. When we look back on our lives, we probably won't remember that great presentation we gave to a potential client. Instead, most of us will think about the time we spent doing the things we love, being with the people we love, and doing whatever it is that inspires us.

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Being Aware Of Your Body Language

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Being Aware Of Your Body Language

As you may already know, body language makes up 55% of your communication. Whether you are meeting face to face or over video, it is important to be aware of how you are presenting yourself and your message through your body language.

Nothing Crossed: Be relaxed. Having your arms, legs or feet crossed can come across as being closed off to your meeting counterparts. A little tip if you are wearing a jacket, open it up before or at the start of your meeting, this will give the impression that you are being open and honest.

Lean Forward: When you are meeting with someone, lean slightly forward and towards them while they are speaking. Leaning in gives the impression that you are interested and paying attention to what others have to say to you. When you are meeting on video you can create the same impression by leaning slightly towards your camera. I suggest that you check your picture-in-picture to be sure you look natural and you aren't leaning too close to the camera.

Mirroring: Mirror someone's behavior can build rapport. It subconsciously builds a stronger connection between you and the person you are meeting. Pay attention to their breathing and pace when speaking, then try to do the same. Be sure when you are mirroring motions, you are gradually doing so and not mirroring every motion they make (you don't want to be like Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx on I Love Lucy).

Eye Contact: Direct eye contact is an easy way to build trust with the person you are meeting and is a compliment to most people. This can be a little tricky over video, but looking directly into your camera will give the impression you are making eye contact with the people you are meeting. While eye contact is a good thing in most meetings, you should be aware of any cultural differences because in some customs eye contact can be interpreted as a sign of disrespect.

Handshake: Pay attention to how you are shaking someone's hand. There is a perfect balance that should be achieved, not too hard, but not too soft. Your handshake is your first impression to show your confidence. According to Australian body language expert, Allan Pease, a handshake can affect the outcome of a meeting because it establishes your dominance or submissiveness.

I know you can't shake someones hand over video, but I think this should apply to how you introduce yourself. Clearly stating your name and position/company can show you are confident to the group or individual you are meeting with.

While meeting in person or on video even the smallest details can change the way you are perceived by others. Being aware of your body language can help you demonstrate confidence, trustworthiness, and create better business relationships. Next time you are meeting with someone, think about how your body language might be perceived and try to use some of these simple tips, it might just land you that dream job or win that big sales deal you have been working on.

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Quick Tip: Tidy Up Your Desktop

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Quick Tip: Tidy Up Your Desktop

We all know the five-minute period of hectic activities before a visitor arrives at your house - frantically putting yesterdays newspapers in the bin, clothes in drawers, and quickly sorting letters and bills to be put in your letter holder. Similarly, you want to make sure you have a clean desktop before you invite your colleagues or customers to view your screen.

Fortunately, most of the time that you are expected to present in a meeting you have time to prepare. So next time you are putting those final touches on your presentation, do a quick clean of your desktop. Put loose files into a folder and make sure no sensitive information can be seen within file or document names. In addition, take a few minutes before the meeting to close all the applications that are not needed for your presentation, especially web pages you don't want to expose - Facebook, news, sports, etc. Taking the extra time, even just a minute or two, will help you appear more organized and professional.

Subscribe to our blog and newsletters for more tips on enhancing your video meetings!

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Introducing our New Look!

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Introducing our New Look!

As you may have noticed, some things have changed. Nope, its not a new hair cut... We have launched our new website!

We wanted to enhance our customer and visitor experience while using our website and felt there was no better time than the start of the New Year. So far, 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Easymeeting and we have a lot more surprises up our sleeves, from new features to new services and products! Our new website will be the hub for all the upcoming action from the Easymeeting team- so keep your eyes open for some more changes this year.

Go ahead and look around, we have kept all of the great information you were familiar with and added so much more! You can learn about Easymeeting's mission and company values, read customer success stories and even find recommended accessories to help enhance your video meetings.

Want to tell someone how to meet you in your virtual meeting room? Send them to our new How to Join page with written and video instructions.

Easymeeting would love to hear your feedback. Email news@easymeeting.net or comment below to tell us what you think. To keep up to date with future exciting news, subscribe here.

Cheers! - The Easymeeting Team 

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Set Yourself Up for Successful Remote Working

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Set Yourself Up for Successful Remote Working

At Easymeeting Americas, our office is only about 50 meters from the Mystic River, and a few times every year the water level rises high enough to cause flooding around our office and send employees home for the day.

Fortunately, we have contingency plans in place to ensure that--in case of flooding, electrical or winter weather emergencies--our employees are able to work from home without sacrificing productivity. Video conferencing is a part of the equation, but there are other tools that can make life easier for employees who wish to clock in from their home office.

Here are a few tips that will help your employees spend a day at home without missing a beat!

VPNs -- Virtual Private Networks can enhance and extend the security of your office’s network by allowing employees to connect from anywhere. Thanks to VPNs, Easymeeting employees who sit in Virginia, Rhode Island and Norway can connect securely to our networks.

B.Y.O.Tech -- This trend has become increasingly popular thanks in large part to the rise of the tablet. Employees are working from their personal tech inside the office, and it is making them feel more fully-equipped when working remotely.

Cloud-based Storage -- In the same vein as BYOT, cloud-based storage allows employees to access work files from anywhere. We have used services like Livedrive, Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google Drive, and had positive experiences with all of them.

Finally, plan ahead! If you think bad weather might keep you out of the office, bring your work home with you the night before, and wake up a bit earlier than usual to make sure you’re on the same page as your colleagues. As is the case in many workplace situations, communication is the key.

 

Want to see how Easymeeting can keep your team connected when weather and other emergencies prevent them from getting to the office? Try our video meeting solution for 14 days free of charge!

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Happy Holidays and Thanks for a Great 2014!

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Happy Holidays and Thanks for a Great 2014!

This week we just wanted to take a moment to thank all of our customers and partners for a great 2014. Without the great relationships we have with our customers and partners, Easymeeting would not be successful and we do what we do, for you!

We are wishing each and every one of you are wonderful Holiday season, and best wishes in 2015! Stay safe while traveling and enjoy your holiday season. We look forward to seeing you all in the Easymeeting Cloud in 2015, and to introducting some exciting new things from the Easymeeting family throughout the year.

We will leave you with a little video of our Experts getting into the holiday spirit. Enjoy here and we will see you next year!

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The 2014 Easymeeting Holiday Gift Guide

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The 2014 Easymeeting Holiday Gift Guide

It is officially the time of year where everyone is scrambling to buy last minute gifts. Not to worry! Easymeeting is here to help. This year, Easymeeting's Alex Teixeira, gives his top 10 holiday gift ideas broken down into five categories to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list: big ticket items, tech, time management, home office and stocking stuffers.

 
 

Big Ticket

Rebel Desk -- Save the money you had earmarked for that new video game system, and invest in a loved one’s well being, instead! Rebel Desk, makers of the world’s finest standing desks, claims a standing desk can improve one’s fitness, mood and overall productivity.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 tablet -- Last year, we recommended the iPad, so it’s fitting that today we show its Android contemporary some love. The Galaxy Tab Pro boasts a beautiful 12.2” display, lightning fast multi-tasking capability and can be paired with data plans from all major cell phone service providers to guarantee web access on the go. It is a truly powerful device for both work and play, and a great gift this holiday season.

Feeling extra nice this year? Check out the keyboard that can be paired with this awesome tablet to give a PC experience.

Tech

Pebble -- Wearable tech has made a major leap in 2014 thanks to the expansion of Android brands like LG’s G Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear, and the announcement of the Apple Watch (coming in 2015). This holiday season, however, we recommend smart watches from Pebble. Their product is affordable, reliable and compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones.

SoundShooter Portable Speaker -- Big sound has never been more portable! Check out this cool innovation on the bluetooth speaker from Philips. With a price tag of less than $25, it boasts some serious bang for your buck.

Time Management

The Four Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss -- One of the best selling business books of all time, and for good reason! Tim Ferriss shows readers how to maximize productivity and trim the proverbial fat from their workweek. It’s a great gift for the aspiring entrepreneur, young professional, or any students on your list this holiday season.

Evernote -- One of the best time savers I have ever invested in is Evernote. There is a free version available, or--for only $5 per month--you can purchase the premium version of the app for someone in your life who could use a boost in their organizational skills.

Home Office

SmartHome Starter Kit -- If someone you love works from a home office, they are likely to be more sensitive than most when it comes to saving money on your utility bills. Smart Home solutions allow users to control everything from lights to locks to thermostats directly from their smartphones.

External Hard Drives -- It is absolutely crucial to have one’s files backed up on an external drive, and this is especially true for those who work from home. These hard drives are more affordable than ever, and most come with software to help users backup their files with relative ease. It might not be the most exciting gift in the world, but what external hard drives lack in “wow” factor they more than make up for in practicality.

Stocking Stuffers

Hand Held Scalp/Head Massager -- These contraptions may look alien, but they make fantastic stocking stuffers! For just over two dollars you can give the gift of relaxation and stress relief to two of your friends or family members.

The Startup Vitamins 2015 Desk Calendar -- The recipient of this cool calendar will be treated to a new motivational quote every month! When in doubt, a desk calendar can be a nice gift for just about anybody from colleagues to loved ones.


What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Let us know by posting on facebook, or tagging us on Instagram or twitter--@easymeetingnet.

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The Importance of Test Calls

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The Importance of Test Calls

Sometimes video conferencing gets a bad reputation for being difficult to use. Inexperienced users may think that only people who are “tech savvy” can take advantage of the technology, but in fact it is quite the opposite; video is for anyone and everyone!

Here is one super simple tip that will make your future meetings easier and more enjoyable in just two words: test calls.

They may sound like a nuisance, but test calls can save you a lot time and unnecessary frustration when it comes time to dial into that important video meeting. They can also minimize the risk of joining a meeting late because you realized you never installed your web camera, or help you to realize that sitting in front of your office window will cause you to look like a silhouette. It will also help you identify any network or device issues before the time of the call, and--if nothing else--generally gain you a higher level of familiarity and comfort with your video software.

The purpose of the test call is to troubleshoot and eliminate any difficulties of joining at the time of your call. For most, this test call will confirm that everything is all set and working. For some, the test call might identify an issue and gives you time to get it resolved in time for your meeting. You don’t always need to have a test call, but they are crucial to work out the initial kinks of your first call. And test calls aren’t just for mobile users; it is important to test that your video conferencing system is able to make calls outside of your network, as many systems are behind your company firewall.

With Easymeeting, we have Experts standing by to help you with your test call.

Email or chat with us to schedule your next test call, or just dial 800 on your EasyNumber-enabled VC system, tablet or computer and we will be at your service!

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We Are All Travelers

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We Are All Travelers

[Guest blog by Hans Johan Tofteng, CEO and Founder of Easymeeting]

You can see heavy advertising for one of the airliners - “We are all travelers”. They are probably right, and I have to admit, I like travelling. For many of us, the problem is that we are travelling too frequently for business, and not often enough for pleasure. We must stop and ask ourselves, how much do we actually gain as a result of this travel? How much did we gain if we traveled 4 hours for a 1 hour meeting? Its easy to measure the cost of the meeting by the price we pay in dollars, but how do we measure the mental energy and time used? That is the most precious commodity of all...

Lets conduct a little test: imagine having a conversation with another person while your eyes are closed. You will soon realized that most of the information is missing from the conversation. Body language is crucial to good conversation, and we miss it in a telephone conference or in a phone call. Now imagine having a great conversation and seeing each other with video. You are able to notice when that person is agreeing or disagreeing based on their body language even if you aren’t in the same room--or country, for that matter! 

Imagine replacing 30% of your meetings with video meetings where you can focus on the conversation, and technology takes the backstage. After all, conversation is the most important part of a meeting, not the technology required to make it happen.

Lastly, imagine your dinner table without an empty chair, and that you are spending your evening learning about your family’s day rather than sitting in an airport or hotel eating fast food or room service.

The next time you are planning a trip ask yourself, “could I have this meeting over video?” Video will not replace all travel, but video meetings can let you decide when to travel for a meeting. The benefits are great - you will be at home more with your family and friends, you can be more productive without leaving your office and your family, friends and colleagues will love that you are not exhausted from all of your business travels.

Start replacing your business travel with video and see what great conversations you can have with Easymeeting.

[Edited by Sara Santos]

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