So far, my time at VOICES has been a positive experience and I have not noticed any major operational issues within the leadership, but rather in the inefficiency of technology. Due to the restraints of working remotely, VOICES has struggled to find an appropriate platform to conduct meetings, which inhibits the organization’s ability to lead to its fullest potential.
On my first day at VOICES, I logged onto the video conferencing platform GoToMeeting. While I am very familiar with Zoom, given the last few months of remote learning, GoToMeeting operates much differently. The system lags, often turn people’s cameras off, and loses reception much more easily than Zoom. While the staff all recognizes the disadvantages of GoToMeeting, there has been no initiative to switch to Zoom. With that being said, staff meetings feel slightly out of control, given the fact that reception comes in and out and the video coverage is very blurry. This system exacerbates the struggles of working remotely, specifically the lack of personal connection. I think that in order to improve the overall functioning of VOICES, it is critical that it transitions to a better functioning video conferencing platform.
As a leadership studies major, I feel inclined to suggest that VOICES switches to Zoom or another more technologically advanced video conferring platform. However, I recognize that these changes are restricted by financial limitations. With that being said, I would suggest that VOICES focus on conducting smaller staff meetings so that each member can speak up rather than being discouraged by too many people talking over them and also the fear of disconnecting to Wi-Fi or video. This smaller setting will hopefully maximize the benefits of video conferencing and limit the issues that often occur with GoToMeeting. In addition, last week we had a socially distanced staff lunch, which was the highlight of the week. It gave everyone a chance to see each other in person and collaborate in a more organic way. I think that VOICES should strive to make events like these a weekly occurrence in order to promote a more stable platform in which they can lead the staff.
While many of these issues are a result of the transition to remote working, we must learn to adapt to these new circumstances, rather than allow the technology to take away from the quality of work and leadership.