Video meeting instead of travel? Save time and money - and the climate.
How can you help to help the UiO reach its climate goals? One possibility is fewer trips and more video meetings.
Do you really have to go?
Staff and employees at the UiO travel a lot on important business trips. We have to go out and meet others both inside and outside the education sector, nationally and internationally, but in many cases it is also important to ask yourself whether the journey is necessary. Is it possible to move the meeting online, to a video meeting? If the answer is yes, you can save both time and money - and greenhouse gas emissions.
Anyone can invite to and participate in video meetings
At the UiO, all employees have access to a computer, and many also have access to their own or a shared laptop, a tablet or smartphone. With simple tools, which are free to use at the UiO, everyone can also invite to and pariticipate in video meetings. Around the university there are also a number of meeting rooms with equipment for video conferencing that can be used if many are to participate from the same room, or you need a better setup than what you get in your office.
When is video meeting an alternative to travel?
A video meeting can replace most meetings, and some of the solutions are also well suited for distance learning and other 1-to-many meetings. You can often also make fewer or shorter trips if you use video meetings in preparation to the actual journy.
Are you wondering what solutions for video meetings you can use at UiO?
If you are going to meet for example one person from Bergen and one person from Tromsø for a project start-up or similar, a meeting in Microsoft Teams may be suitable. Each participants are at their own computer (or tablet or phone), and all can both see and talk to each other.
If you and your project group at UiO, for example, are to meet one or more persons from NTNU or Stanford, a room with equipment for video conferencing is suitable. Then you and your project group can sit together in the meeting room, and the camera will record you all and you will show up on the screen of the receiver. The receiver can be either one person sitting with his or her laptop or another group sitting in a similar meeting room as you. For such meetings, the Uninett solution we call Video Bridge is ideal, since it works very well regardless of which solution the other participants use.
Top tips for video meetings
- Try out the solution before the meeting, and use tools with UiO/Feide login. Make a test video meeting with a colleague or get help from local IT well in advance of the scheduled meeting. Also, make sure that the solution you are using is recommended by the UiO, because then you can be sure that the data processing agreement is in place and that any security issues are taken care of. See overview of UiO-recommended solutions by clicking on the link in the facts box in the previous paragraph.
- Position the camera correctly. If you use a webcam or laptop, be careful. Set the camera so that it is level with your eyes and not too close. If you have the laptop or camera on the table in front of you, you will be filmed from under your chin. It helps to move the computer/camera a bit away and up. Put camera/laptop on top of something - if you use a stack of books, make sure to build steadily. You should also make sure that it is tidy around you and that what is behind you does not cause noise or divert the attention away from you.
- Use a moderator. If you are several participants in one meeting room, or many who participate from their respective locations, it is very good to have a moderator. It is even harder to hear what is being said if people talk at he same time when you hear it over the speaker.
- Speak clearly and be clear. Much of the non-verbal communication disappears over the camera. Be clear in what you say, so you avoid misunderstandings. Don't trust that the "implied" reaches the other participants.
- Have a clear agenda. Video meetings can be less engaging than face-to-face meetings, especially if there are many participants. Make sure everyone has the agenda for the meeting, and if it is you who lead the meeting, you should refer to the agenda so that the progress of the meeting is clear.
Have a good (video) meeting!