In this rapidly changing world more and more things are moving online, and chatting with friends, colleagues or prospective clients is no different. Zoom is an online platform that enables you to do just this, and a lot more. Here Paul Partridge, our Union Learning Representative at Wincanton Magor, talks about his experience of using the platform.

Paul said, “I did not know much about Zoom until this year. I knew it was a platform and I only experienced using it through other members of my family organising Covid safe family quizzes when meeting in person was no longer an option”.

Paul identified that, “I started using MS Teams to attend work meetings, but I did not use Zoom at work until a training session came up and I decided to give it a go. It was quite nerve- racking the first time, but the fact that all worked fine shows that it can be a positive experience”.

Subject to all equipment working using Zoom was relatively easy, Paul discovered, but there were points of unfamiliarity that could catch you out, Paul also found that, for example, muting yourself or pressing particular buttons you could switch on a video or join a breakout room. Paul added “This needed explaining before I was fully able to use them”.

He added that, “You can use Zoom on your Smart-phone and it is relatively easy. I would reserve using the phone for more informal use. Using a large screen is extremely helpful for visual content and I would recommend using a computer or a tablet for a formal meeting or training”.

Paul discovered, “what I have learnt from this experience is that you wrestle with the fact that you are alone in the room, but you are not. You need to be alert and actually watch yourself – something that you wouldn’t do if you were having a face to face meeting”.

Zoom is a suitable replacement for being in the same room with someone meeting face to face. In using Zoom there is no need to travel, which gives you more time to prepare for whatever you are doing. Connectivity is also enhanced – Zoom can prevent email tennis, which is often more time-consuming because of lack of clarity.

The platform is also more life affirming in that you see people’s faces, catch their smiles, have a laugh (or not!) and serious messages can be conveyed. But it is more challenging to leave a face to face meeting than the Zoom one, should it be necessary. There is also the obvious advantage that if you are the designated coffee maker, you are only making drinks for one.

“I believe the advent of Zoom is revolutionary in delivering and enhancing the levels of communication, Paul concluded, and then added, “the opportunities to have higher levels of communication when people are far away, or cannot be present in person, can only be an advantage in all organisations or businesses as often email does not convey the mood or meaning of what needs to be communicated”.

Zoom breaks new ground in terms of the lack of the need to travel and if popular, may have quite a significant environmental effect because of that reduction in travel. This framework has made personal visual contact possible and therefore the rare event of travelling will become more exciting and special, as a consequence.  

URTU Learning have compiled a set of short videos which uncover some of the mysteries around using Zoom:

  • Overview
  • Format, plans and purpose
  • Features and benefits
  • Tech and hardware requirements
  • Audio and video settings
  • Getting started
  • How to set up and host a meeting
  • Etiquette and best practice
  • Security and Data Protection
  • Zoom fatigue
  • Top tips