Video conferences and screen sharing is becoming the ‘norm’ with more and more remote ISO consultancy and auditing being delivered online. The industry has evolved and adapted to support the needs of those seeking and maintaining ISO certification.
However like any disruption to an industry, there have been many lessons learned and refinements to the process.
Here are our top five tips for a great Remote ISO Consultancy Session!
Get the Right Technology
Delivering Remote ISO Projects relies on technology, and there are a number of providers out there including Microsoft 365, Google Meet, Zoom, Blue Jeans and others.
Sometimes the choice of technology platform is driven by the client, which means our ISO Consultants need to be familiar and competent with a range of different video conference solutions.
Problems connecting to a meeting, accessing camera/microphone or using other features can lead to delays and wasted time that the client is paying for!
Therefore it’s essential to test the technology you are planning to use, prior to the scheduled meeting. Most platforms have free trials so you can install the app on your computer and try them without paying.
At Assent we primarily use Microsoft Teams, as it integrates with our 365 platform making data sharing safe and secure. Our central admin office will offer clients a Teams invite when setting up each meeting.
Invites & Back-Channels
Just like an on-site appointment, we create calendar invites for each meeting and include the joining information within the notes. This allows attendees to confirm (or refuse) the meeting, and sets a reminder nearer the time.
This generally works well, however problems can occur where there are multiple meeting links, perhaps one provided by us and another by the client.
That’s where having an alternative method of communication is important. Sometimes it is still easier to pick up the phone and speak to the client, to make sure everyone is joining the correct meeting.
If we are delivering more than one consultancy day in a row it can be useful to have an appointment for each day, rather than a single link. Likewise, during audits we may meet with various different people from the client’s organisation. To prevent clashes, separate meetings can be set up in the calendar, however it is important that we keep-to-time to prevent someone being stuck in a meeting waiting for us to arrive!
On that note, remember who’s meeting it is. Sometimes guests can be held in a ‘lobby’ area and this means waiting for the organiser to let them in. Depending who created the meeting link, this could be Assent or the client.
Lastly, any information shared via the text chat of a meeting may still be available after the meeting so be mindful of what is shared.
When we meet clients face-to-face there are natural breaks for comfort or to allow the client time to check emails and so on.
It’s important to build these same breaks into a remote session, especially as the attendees may be sitting at the computer for a long period of time, in a less than ideal home workspace.
So we recommend setting this expectation at the beginning of the day.
Working remotely doesn’t need to be any less secure than meeting in person, but there are different security considerations.
Limit the amount of printed material you have to look after, locking it away when not in use and shredding it when no longer needed.
Store equipment securely and remember to still apply the same screen-lock principles when you are at home.
If available, use a secure VPN when accessing company data, as this will encrypt the transfer protecting against potential threats on your home network.
Avoid transmitting data outside of your company’s policy, for example via Whatsapp or text message, as although this might be quick and easy, it produces another copy of the data to control.
Find out about your company’s information security policy.
Get Ready for Your Close-Up
Finally take time to think about what can be seen on camera, not only the mandatory bookshelf in the background but also your clothing and your favourite novelty mug which might creep into shot.
These things can give a great insight into your personality but for professionalism you might want to keep some things out of view.
Also remember that the camera is still rolling even when you are looking at another application or screen. So turn the camera (and microphone) off when you are not using them or if you need to leave your desk.