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By David GordonDirector, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

The early weeks of work-from-home saw many investment professionals feeling unsure about how to stay connected with teammates and existing and prospective clients. After a few months, most advisors found ways to connect virtually. By summer, videoconference fatigue had set in. By fall, most were suffering to one degree or another from virtual exhaustion.

What's next? The emerging best practice is actually a restatement of age-old wisdom: Everything in moderation. Consider the following to make the most of the virtual experience for colleagues and clients:

  1. Shorten your time on camera. If a call needs to last 45 minutes, for example, consider "muting" your camera most of the time. Show yourself at the beginning, important points during the call and again at the end to say goodbye. This "face time" might be just 10 total minutes.
  2. Less is more when you use mute. Muting your microphone reduces distracting sounds and improves call quality for everyone. Unmute when you have something meaningful to say. The less you say, the more others will pay attention to what you actually do say.
  3. Use video to share information. Conferencing systems lend themselves to collaborating on projects, reviewing documents and sharing screens. If you are only having a conversation, perhaps all participants would appreciate an old-fashioned telephone conference call.
  4. Do not multitask. When video and audio are muted, it can be tempting to check email, answer phone calls or engage with family members. Try not to make a habit of multitasking — it makes calls longer and other participants can tell when you are distracted.
  5. Try not to "wing it". If you prepare for a video conference as you would for an in-person meeting, the experience will be better for all participants — including you.

Bottom line: Incorporating a few simple best practices into your work-from-home routine can improve the videoconference experience for teammates, clients and you.