COVID-19 may have sparked the Marie Kondo in us. There have been television and print news stories about how people are organizing and simplifying their living spaces and lives. What if we take the same principle and apply it to virtual meetings and remote work? Bestselling author, entrepreneur and marketing guru Rohit Bhargava has done just that. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work and how we communicate with colleagues and clients. Sensing a need, Bhargava, the founder and chief trend curator of the Non-Obvious Company, published The Non-Obvious Guide to Virtual Meetings and Remote Work on April 26—to help us through this period. (Download it for free.)
The Kondoesque guide is a neatly-organized, focused, no-frills book filled with checklists, expert advice, and insights on the most effective ways to work remotely, prepare and deliver virtual presentations and foster virtual engagement and trust. Bhargava began work on the guide the day after the South by Southwest conference was canceled. He spent the last two months reading and researching extensively on the topic, combining the findings with his own experience of working from home for the past decade. In other words, he knows his material.
One tip to working remotely: know your dead times. In the guide, Bhargava says that he can’t write in the afternoon from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. “I will stare at the screen and get nothing done. So I decided to stop trying.” Now, during those three hours, he does other administrative tasks or spends time with his children. “The point is that those afternoon hours are now productive for me because I am intentional about what I choose not to do.”
In the section dedicated to virtual meetings, Bhargava helps you prepare for meetings with tips for creating an agenda, the seven rules of virtual meetings, and ways to develop your participation strategy.
Bhargava, who also writes about general trends, does believe that while virtual work and presentations are important now, their importance will “dramatically go down when offices re-open.” The workplace structure will change and people will have more “blended schedules”—they will go into the office three or four days a week and work from home the remaining days. This will be a more effective way to use your time: meetings will happen on the days’ people are physically in the office while you can work uninterrupted on the days you are home (at least in theory).
If Marie Kondo’s message is to help people live a life that sparks joy, spark some joy into your work from home routine, virtual meetings and presentations with Bhargava’s guide.