The unprecendented situation with COVID-19 has had significant impact for our clients and the broader community as we all dust-off our business continuity plans, transition staff to working from home where possible, worry about our parents and think about what to do with the kids at home.
For the health and saftey of all concerned, we now conduct all interviews, meetings and discussions required for workplace investigations, reviews, mediations, coaching and facilitated discussions via video conference. We also now deliver our comprehensive range of in-house training programs online.
Worklogic has long used video conferencing and online tools to conduct our well-regarded in-house training courses for rural and remote clients. Our experience in conducting training via video conference means that we are able to maintain the learning outcomes for participants in small video conferenced facilitated workshops. We are fortunate that tools such as Zoom and Gotowebinar allow us to poll our participants, break into group work, whiteboard responses and discuss questions in detail, just as you can in an in-person workshop.
Our participants have reported that they enjoy learning in this way from their own home and we are confident that learning over video enabled facilitated workshops leads to great learning outcomes.
Video conferencing for interviews, meetings and discussions
Worklogic now uses video conferencing platforms such as Zoom for interviews with the participants involved in a workplace investigation, mediation or review.
Where participants do not have access to the internet, or do not feel technologically able to use Zoom (or other video conferencing tools like Skype) we have conducted interviews via mobile telephone, using Facetime.
Using either Zoom or FaceTime, the interviewee and the participant can see each other, and it (almost) feels as if you are in the same room as one another as the quality of the image (particularly using Zoom) is so clear.
We have conducted many workplace investigation interviews over video conference in the past and have a number of well-established protocols to ensure that that video conferencing is a reasonable and procedurally fair method of interviewing, particularly given the extraordinary current environment we find ourselves in.
We are able to conduct interviews for workplace reviews using video conferencing platforms and our experience shows that it works well for reviewers and for the participants.
We can also successfully conducted mediations, coaching sessions and facilitated discussions via video conference, leveraging the online meeting room capability of Zoom.
We have found that there are a number of advantages to conducting interviews and discussions over video conferencing:
- We can be flexible with the times of the interviews, which makes scheduling easier as it is not necessary to schedule participants interviews one after another. It is easier to plan when the interviewer and a participant can get in front of computer screens, than trying to find a time to meet on the same day and in the same place.
- Participants can be interviewed in the privacy of their homes, which may help with confidentiality and openness, as there are no constraints around being in the workplace and being seen to be walking into an interview room in the workplace.
- Where the interviewer would have been required to travel outside of Sydney or Melbourne, this could mean significant savings in expenses, such as flights and accommodation, as well there being no charge travel time.
- No travel means the carbon footprint is lessened.
- We can complete the interview and associated report in less time when travel is not involved, and we are not having to find a time to schedule interviews sequentially.
Once we are able to return to our workplaces and travel again, we may find that the advantages are so significant that we will continue more interviews via video conferencing.