Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teleconference blues

The ACS Network is slowly building its variety of bloggers on its Industry Voices site. One of the more interesting bloggers is Quan Zhou, who is working in life sciences in Shanghai. This post of his about teleconferences (TCs) is quite good, I thought:
...Obviously, the difference between a late night TCs and normal TCs is when it is held.  Recently, I have been working on a global project that involves four different sites located in Cambridge UK, San Diego US, Boston US and Shanghai China, respectively. On projects like these, it is impossible to find a perfect time to hold regular TCs for all four sites. In this case our teleconference was finally scheduled for 3pm in UK, which is 7am in San Diego, 10am in Boston and 11pm in Shanghai. It is slightly painful, although not impossible to adjust for the awkward time - by turning your alarm clock 2 hours ahead if you are in San Diego or staying up 2 more hours if you are in Shanghai like me, you can make it work.

When planning these types of TCs it is even more important to carefully select the participants that you need to include on the call. The odd hours make it even more of an inconvenience for those colleagues who are asked to attend but are not critical to the issue being discussed.  Onetime we had a TC discussing a primarily chemistry related project. At the end of the TC, it was almost 12pm for the biologist who had been asked to attend.  He did not have much input for this particular meeting and finally exclaimed, “You chemists could have had this meeting without me.”
Read the whole thing. It's good, and a good perspective on teleconferences and one that's not often heard. 

1 comment:

  1. A quote from my former boss: "You can go on the Internet on a cell phone now. Why can't they make videoconference equipment that doesn't always break down halfway through a meeting?"

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