Trisha Zimmerman, Author at PGi Blog https://www.pgi.com/blog Resources for Virtual Events and Global Collaboration for Businesses Thu, 07 May 2020 19:29:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.1 PGi Wins the Gold Stevie Award for Support Team of the Year https://www.pgi.com/blog/2017/08/pgi-wins-gold-stevie-award-support-team-year/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/pgi-wins-gold-stevie-award-support-team-year/ Purely focused on collaboration, PGi is immensely proud of our innovative portfolio and the best customer care team in the world. Best in the world? Sounds ambitious, huh? Guess, what the folks at the Stevie International Business Awards agree! The PGi Expert Team was awarded a Gold Stevie International Business Award (IBA) for “Support Team …

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Purely focused on collaboration, PGi is immensely proud of our innovative portfolio and the best customer care team in the world. Best in the world? Sounds ambitious, huh? Guess, what the folks at the Stevie International Business Awards agree!

The PGi Expert Team was awarded a Gold Stevie International Business Award (IBA) for “Support Team of the Year.”

PGi’s Expert Team provides technical support for automated audio and web conferencing products through troubleshooting and creative problem solving. The team has proven that they are creative, talented and high-performing. Specifically, judges noted the following accomplishments:

  • 80 percent first-call resolution;
  • Decreased overall time to resolution by 45 percent for escalated tickets;
  • Reduced answer call time by 40 percent via process improvements; and
  • Reduced time to resolve customer issues by up to 50 percent using new technology.

Another judge summed up the PGi customer support experience by saying, “[PGi] has a hard working and creative team showing that solving their clients’ problems leads to success. A great example of customer service at its very best.”

Two hundred executives worldwide participated on 12 judging committees to determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners from more than 3,900 nominations submitted by organizations in over 60 nations. The judges complimented our Expert Team for handling duties while turning customer problems into successes. As one judge put it, you have “excellent initiative and mindset in delivering service excellence to clients. Great support team in serving with heart!”

Expert Excellence
Some of When an Expert Team member is assigned to a PGi customer ticket, they do everything possible to resolve the issue in a timely manner and are really engaged with the issue at hand. They have reorganized, created new tools and adopted new processes to reduce resolution time and meet KPIs.

Recently, the Expert Team accomplished a major milestone when one of our own agents refined a support tool called Remote Assist which is an easy way for agents to remote into a client’s computer and take control for troubleshooting.

Through Remote Assist’s annotation tool, PGi customer support members can also highlight instructions and specific steps for clients. For more difficult troubleshooting, such as a network connectivity issues, we can download logs directly from a client’s computer that diagnoses the root cause. We can also replicate an issue and record it remotely and then upload into a ticket for escalation.

The Expert Team drives continuous improvement and ensures service continuity through either problem resolution or work-around deployments. In rare instances when Agents need to escalate an issue, they never remove themselves from the situation. They continue working directly to determine root causes and see incidents through to resolution.

Congratulations to PGi’s Expert Agents for being recognized as the best of the best! We’re proud to have you supporting our customers.

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Think You Know How to Motivate Employees? A Must Read for Management https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/01/think-know-motivate-employees-must-read-management/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/01/think-know-motivate-employees-must-read-management/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/think-know-motivate-employees-must-read-management/ The Enthusiastic Employee helps managers motivate employees for a more profitable business.

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You’ve recently hired a new employee. Within the first few months, he approaches his job with enthusiasm, excitement and new ideas. However, after about six months, you notice his energy begins to wane. Now, instead of offering a fresh perspective and creative ideas, he muddles through the day checking off only what has to be done. Does this sound like a familiar scenario? If you have ever managed people, you have probably grappled with how to keep your team motivated past the honeymoon phase.

Often, it is not the company, the type of work or an employee’s lack of desire that dampens enthusiasm, but rather management. The Enthusiastic Employee by David Sirota and Douglas Klein will make any manager take a fresh look at how well they are meeting the needs of their employees. This book argues that almost all employees have a desire to make a positive difference.

Sirota and Klein use a massive amount of research, including nearly 200,000 write-in comments from employee surveys to better understand human motivation.

They do a great job of incorporating years of data to support their points without bogging the reader down with unnecessary statistics.

All companies want enthusiastic employees, characterized by those who take the initiative to get things done without being asked. Enthusiasm impacts business success. However, out of all the organizations the authors have surveyed since 1972, only 13.8 percent could be categorized as having “an enthusiastic workforce.” So where does a manager begin? I suggest Sirota’s and Klein’s “Three Factor Theory of Human Motivation in the Workplace.” 

This theory states there are three primary goals that all employees want regardless of their generation:

1.     Equity
To be treated fairly

2.     Achievement
To have a sense of accomplishment by doing things they take pride in and doing them well

3.     Camaraderie
To have satisfying relationships with others in the workplace

Sirota and Klein do a great job of describing what each of these mean to employees. They give tactical changes managers can make to meet these three goals today. After reading this book, you will think differently about employees’ most basic needs, such as job security and respect.

No manager wants to admit she doesn’t provide a respectful environment or is not meeting her employees’ needs in some other way. Put aside what you THINK you know about motivating employees and take a fresh look at what Sirota and Klein have to say.

The Enthusiastic Employee is easy to read and has many different entry points that don’t need to be read in order. Unless you have an entire organization that runs happily to work every day, this book will help you hone in on the areas that need improvement or just perfect things you are already doing well.

 

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Can I Have Your Attention Please? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/12/can-attention-please/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/12/can-attention-please/#respond Tue, 03 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/can-attention-please/ From hands-on classrooms to virtual meetings, Brain Rules provides a road map for sharing information. You’re a meeting host presenting to a silent, lifeless audience. “Any questions?” you ask, hoping for any proof that you still have their attention. Your plea for some sign of life is met with the same glazed looks that began …

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From hands-on classrooms to virtual meetings, Brain Rules provides a road map for sharing information.

You’re a meeting host presenting to a silent, lifeless audience. “Any questions?” you ask, hoping for any proof that you still have their attention. Your plea for some sign of life is met with the same glazed looks that began appearing around 10 minutes into your presentation. Hopes of your audience retaining your carefully-prepared information are fading like a candle on a cold winter night.

Sound familiar? For anyone experienced with hosting meetings or training classes, you probably have had a similar experience. Unless you have found a unique way to arouse and hold your audience’s attention, they start checking out around the 10-minute mark. Our brains are only wired to pay attention for that amount of time. Even more depressing is that people usually forget 90 percent of what they learn in a class within 30 days.*

Is there anything teachers and trainers can do to counter these forces of human nature that obstruct the hard work of our presentations? Yes, with some effort and a willingness to do things differently. John Medina, a molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules, helps us understand how people receive, process and retain information and what we can do as leaders, communicators and teachers to give our information a better chance of survival.

In his 280 page book, Medina gives practical tips for structuring information to help your audience stay with you. Here are my three favorite tips:

Emotions Get Our Attention: Medina says, “People don’t pay attention to boring things.” That should not surprise anyone. In fact, 32% of audience members have fallen asleep during a boring presentation. So why do we allow our information to be so boring? We must work harder to tell stories. No matter what industry you’re in, your company has stories. Let me give you an example: In 2011 and 2012, PGi won an award for Best Adoption-Friendly Places to Work sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation.  I could have merely shared the announcement with our employees, but imagine how much more meaningful it was to share the anxiety and emotion of a real person who actually used the benefit. It wasn’t hard to find someone willing to share their story. A quick call to our HR Department garnered me a few likely participants. Not long after, I had an incredible story with pictures and video of one PGi employee’s journey to a children’s prison in Uganda and how that life-changing experience related to PGi’s generous adoption benefit.

Burn Your PowerPoint Presentations:  Pictures are more efficient at communicating information than text. Just take a look at the recent popularity of infographics. Medina says, “The problem with PowerPoint is that it has nearly 40 words per slide.* While I agree that PowerPoint is often used as a crutch and contributes to audience fatigue, I don’t think you have to kill it. Instead, try a few simple things to jazz it up:

  • Make only one to three points per slide.
  • Make sure your slides represent visually what you are saying verbally.
  • Ask yourself if you need to have the slide at all. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Use the slide for emphasis, but tell the story verbally.

Use Real-World Examples to Help People Remember Your Information: “Providing examples makes the information more elaborate, more complex, better encoded and therefore better learned,” said Medina. The more examples you use, the more likely your audience will remember your information. And, the more personal the example, the more easily it is remembered.

Medina goes into much greater detail about how we learn and what exercise (chapter 1), sleep (chapter 7) and stress (chapter 8) really do to our brains. I particularly found these three chapters interesting, not as a communicator, but as a life-long learner. Whether you’re teaching or receiving information, Brain Rules has great information about how to get the most out of our brains.

If you’re looking for more insights on making your presentations more memorable, download PGi’s free eBook today!

 

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How to Capture Your Audience’s Attention with a Story https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/09/giving-presentation-capture-audiences-attention-story/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/09/giving-presentation-capture-audiences-attention-story/#respond Mon, 30 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/giving-presentation-capture-audiences-attention-story/ Does your audience nod off during your presentation? If so, you’re not alone. 32 percent of audience members have fallen asleep during a boring presentation. The human brain is only wired to pay attention for about 10 minutes at a time. As a presenter, you have to find a way to capture people’s attention and …

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Does your audience nod off during your presentation? If so, you’re not alone. 32 percent of audience members have fallen asleep during a boring presentation. The human brain is only wired to pay attention for about 10 minutes at a time. As a presenter, you have to find a way to capture people’s attention and keep re-engaging them in your message. If this sounds like a tough task, it is. After all, we are bombarded by marketing messages every day. But cutting through the noise is also very achievable and well worth your time.  Storytelling is a great technique for getting people’s attention and drawing them back in when their eyelids start to droop.

Storytelling is an age-old craft shared in every culture. Regardless of language, race or nationality, it is a proven method of converting information to a more durable form. Why is this important for your next presentation? Because people don’t pay attention to boring things; we pay attention to emotions.

No matter what industry you work in, you have more stories to tell than you probably realize. Let me give you an example: In 2011 and 2012, PGi won an award for Best Adoption-Friendly Places to Work sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation.  I could have merely shared the announcement with our employees, but imagine how much more meaningful it was to share the anxiety and emotion of a real person who actually used the benefit. It wasn’t hard to find someone willing to share their story. A quick call to our HR Department garnered me a few likely participants. Not long after, I had an incredible story with pictures and video of one PGi employee’s journey to a children’s prison in Uganda and how that life-changing experience related to PGi’s generous adoption benefit. Not only did our employees learn an amazing story about one of their co-workers, they also have etched in their memory that PGi topped the list of the Best Adoption-Friendly Places to Work – all because of one story.

Why are stories so effective at capturing – and keeping – an audience’s attention?  Aside from our inability to pay attention to boring information, our brains need a break, just like our bodies.  Ever feel the 3:00 slump only to step away from your desk for a few minutes and feel revived? When told well, stories are also good at refocusing our minds. They are like a Snickers bar for our brains.

If you really want to make your message unforgettable, add visuals. According to Brain Rules by John Medina , you’ll get 6x better recall for information that is simultaneously oral and visual.

You don’t have to talk to a room full of Rain Men to make your message stick. Try telling a story to transform your audience from slumped in the seat to leaning forward with undivided attention. For more easy-to-use tips to take your presentation from blah to great, check out PGi’s ebook of fun presentation ideas.

[Tweet “32% of audience members have fallen asleep during a boring presentation”]

Related Posts:

7 Body Language Tips for Presentations to Guarantee an Engaged Audience

Sales Presentations: Are You Doing Them All Wrong?

How Do You Make Better Sales Presentations?

10 More Fun Presentation Ideas to Spice Up Your Meetings

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No Cords Attached, the Best iPad Apps for Teleconferencing https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/04/no-cords-attached-ipad-apps-make-teleconferencing-easy/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/04/no-cords-attached-ipad-apps-make-teleconferencing-easy/#respond Fri, 19 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/no-cords-attached-ipad-apps-make-teleconferencing-easy/ For all its advancements, technology often is still not as simple as I expect. Take my T.V., for example. I am amazed at the tangle of cords growing from it. It’s like a maze trying to figure out where they all connect. And, I’ll never understand why I have three remotes – none of which …

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For all its advancements, technology often is still not as simple as I expect. Take my T.V., for example. I am amazed at the tangle of cords growing from it. It’s like a maze trying to figure out where they all connect. And, I’ll never understand why I have three remotes – none of which control the volume.  Fortunately, connecting to iMee®t and GlobalMeet® through my iPad isn’t nearly as complicated.

Once I downloaded the iMeet and GlobalMeet apps, I was ready to connect from home or on the go. Here are my favorite features that make meeting so easy:

ConnectMe – The ConnectMe feature calls my iPad directly, so I’m getting my audio and visuals from one device. This is my favorite feature since my cell phone is usually misplaced along with one of my remotes.  I’m always trying to travel light whether I’m at the ball field or the airport, so of course I love having a single device for all my meetings.

Volume Controls – With iMeet’s and GlobalMeet’s volume controls, I can mute and unmute myself – a must for noisy airport environments. Under Settings, I can adjust my volume and the speaker’s volume directly from my iPad, too.

Favorites Folder – I can store iMeet room addresses in my “Favorites” folder, making it even easier for me to meet.  When I want to connect, I simply click on the room name and “Enter Room.” If I know ahead of time that I am meeting in a new room, I can type in the URL and add it to my “Favorites.”

Having video, audio and screen sharing in one place and being able to control it all with a touch screen makes collaborating a natural and easy part of my work day. As a remote worker who travels, I wouldn’t know what to do without iMeet and GlobalMeet on my iPad. They are my favorite apps – even more than Angry Birds!

And now, you have the chance to try iMeet’s and GlobalMeet’s iPad apps from the comfort of a beautiful Herman Miller Embody chair.  In honor of Earth Day, we are giving away this sustainable, ergonomic, beautifully designed chair, and all you have to do for an opportunity to win is like PGi’s Facebook page. Simple, just like the apps themselves!

For more tips on telecommuting, download PGi’s free ebook, The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting.

 

 

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Five Tips for Managing Employees Remotely https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/04/five-tips-for-managing-employees-remotely/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/04/five-tips-for-managing-employees-remotely/#respond Wed, 03 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/five-tips-for-managing-employees-remotely/ Everyone who manages employees knows there is value in being on site. Hands-on direct participation by managers helps ensure the team is running at its best. When I first became a manager, I was concerned that I could do the job effectively since I am a remote worker. I was afraid my physical absence would …

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Everyone who manages employees knows there is value in being on site. Hands-on direct participation by managers helps ensure the team is running at its best. When I first became a manager, I was concerned that I could do the job effectively since I am a remote worker. I was afraid my physical absence would impede the team’s progress, but I found that with the right tools, I was just as effective as being on site. Here are my top five tips to managing remotely:

Let’s iMeet
Rather than making informal visits to work areas, I use iMeet. With just a single click, we can join each other’s iMeet rooms, and even drop off files. Whenever someone joins my room, I automatically get an alert – it’s like a knock on my office door. When we iMeet, I hear suggestions and complaints and get the same type of information that I would if I was walking around in person.

Don’t Skip the Chit Chat
I also hold a regularly scheduled weekly meeting with my team on iMeet to go through projects. We always start with the same conversation about families, what the kids are up to and what we did over the weekend. Is this non-work related discussion meaningless chit chat or is it building rapport? For me, it’s definitely the latter, and iMeet makes it feel like I’m there in person.

Watch Them as They Learn
Training was another area that concerned me as a manager, but with GlobalMeet’s document and screen sharing capabilities, I can see exactly what my team members are doing and walk them through a process step by step as if I was there in person.

There’s an App for That
With mobile apps for iMeet and GlobalMeet, I can take my office on the road. iMeet and GlobalMeet make it easy for me to continue business wherever I am. I simply press the M to launch GlobalMeet or the to launch iMeet HD on my mobile device.

*20 to 30 million Americans work from home at least one day a week. Of that, three million do so full time. With work forces becoming more dispersed, managers need to find creative alternatives to the traditional management by walking around. For a guide to the benefits and pitfalls that come with teleworking, download PGi’s free ebook, The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting.

*Global Workplace Analytics and the Telework Research Network

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Don’t Treat Your Job Applicants Like Livestock: Let iMeet Do Your Herding https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/02/dont-treat-your-job-applicants-like-livestock-let-imeet-do-your-herding/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/02/dont-treat-your-job-applicants-like-livestock-let-imeet-do-your-herding/#respond Mon, 25 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/dont-treat-your-job-applicants-like-livestock-let-imeet-do-your-herding/ In a still sluggish economy, recruiters have the luxury of receiving many applications for the same job posting. That’s the good and the bad news. Recently, one of my neighbors described her job interview with another company by saying she and all the applicants were brought in to the interview like a herd of cattle. …

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In a still sluggish economy, recruiters have the luxury of receiving many applications for the same job posting. That’s the good and the bad news.

Recently, one of my neighbors described her job interview with another company by saying she and all the applicants were brought in to the interview like a herd of cattle. By the way she described the experience, I don’t think she cared if she got the job or not. Companies may have the upper hand when hiring, but that’s no reason to leave your applicants with a poor impression.

With a record number of candidates submitting interest in positions, time is more essential than ever. So how do you conduct a group interview without losing that personal feel? PGi’s recruiters say they can’t do it without iMeet.

Not only does iMeet accelerate the interview process, it allows recruiters to see how people interact in a group setting.

“When you use iMeet for round table interviews, you get to see how they interact in a group setting,” said Leslie Nail, PGi Recruiter. “You see nuggets that you may have missed on paper. Someone with a stellar resume may lack essential people skills. Or, someone without a great resume may shine on iMeet because more of who they really are comes through.”

If you’re conducting a group discussion, seven to eight candidates on iMeet can give you good group interaction without being overwhelming. However, if you’re just sharing information without expecting a lot of feedback, Leslie recommends using iMeet for up to 15 candidates at a time.

With iMeet, recruiters not only save time and money, applicants also get an opportunity to represent themselves beyond paper. The next time you’re doing volume recruiting, don’t treat your applicants like livestock. Try iMeet for your interviews and show them you’re a company headed toward greener pastures.

Read our Vaco case study to find out how one recruiting firm utilized iMeet video conferencing, to realize a five-time increase in recruiter productivity.

 

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Recruiting Hassle #1: Are Your Job Applicants Engaged? Let iMeet Decide https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/01/recruiting-hassle-1-are-your-applicants-let-imeet-decide/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/01/recruiting-hassle-1-are-your-applicants-let-imeet-decide/#respond Wed, 30 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/recruiting-hassle-1-are-your-applicants-let-imeet-decide/ Having recently interviewed candidates for an open position, I can honestly say it was the least enjoyable part of my job. The time it took to find the right person was unlike anything I had ever experienced. How do recruiters do it? I asked four of PGi’s Human Resources professionals this question, and their answer …

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Having recently interviewed candidates for an open position, I can honestly say it was the least enjoyable part of my job. The time it took to find the right person was unlike anything I had ever experienced. How do recruiters do it? I asked four of PGi’s Human Resources professionals this question, and their answer was simple: iMeet.

Of course I use iMeet for almost all my meetings, but isn’t this one of those times when face-to-face trumps even the most personal online setting? Of the four recruiters I interviewed, their answer was unanimous: They couldn’t recruit without iMeet. And, here’s why: Meeting with job applicants via iMeet allows recruiters in any industry to see how engaged they are in the position. Our HR Team all agreed that iMeet allows them to see past a person’s resume and gauge enthusiasm, but how they introduced iMeet to candidates depended on the position for which they were hiring.

Kacy Cross, a recruiter for Client Services positions, likes to provide applicants with some basic instructions. They sound something like this: “Go into iMeet early, play around with it, and feel free to complete your bio.” Candidates who upload a photo or avatar and write a short bio show they are much more engaged in the position than those who arrive with a blank profile.

Leslie Nail, who recruits for many technical positions, has a different approach. She likes to provide as little instruction as possible. iMeet is so simple even for first-time users that she expects her candidates to have the technical curiosity to automatically take iMeet for a spin.

“Their preparation for iMeet shows how engaged they are in the position and PGi, and we use that as a barometer,” says Julie Johnson, PGi Recruiter.

I expected to hear about how iMeet saves time and money, but I wasn’t prepared for this unparalleled experience that iMeet provides the recruiting process – and neither are some of the candidates. As one former applicant put it, “Using the iMeet software was a unique and more interesting way to speak with each other for the first time.”

No matter your company or industry, if you’re recruiting for a job, iMeet can help you weed out those less enthusiastic candidates. HR professionals can learn more about trends in talent acquisition with this white paper. For additional discussion about how HR professionals are leveraging online meeting technology, please join this discussion about employee benefits enrollment.

What HR processes have you down? Share them with us here and see how we can help.

 

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Virtual Teaming Breaks the Office Mold https://www.pgi.com/blog/2012/04/virtual-teaming-breaks-the-office-mold/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2012/04/virtual-teaming-breaks-the-office-mold/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/virtual-teaming-breaks-the-office-mold/ There are many ways that workplaces are going green, and one of the biggest is telecommuting. From 1980 – 2009, the percentage of employees working from home has grown 86%. Along with this remote work rise, more and more virtual teams are being born. When I first heard of virtual teams, I wondered how anyone …

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There are many ways that workplaces are going green, and one of the biggest is telecommuting. From 1980 – 2009, the percentage of employees working from home has grown 86%. Along with this remote work rise, more and more virtual teams are being born.

When I first heard of virtual teams, I wondered how anyone could manage employees effectively when they’re not in the same office. How do people begin work on time when their boss is remote? Would they leave early? Would they (gasp!) check Facebook with the absence of a boss nearby?

As trivial as it seems now, before the rise of telecommuting trends, I had all these questions. And then about four years ago, I became part of this growing trend. Although I’m on a very small team of two (counting myself), we still consider ourselves a team. I work from my home in South Carolina and my direct report works in Pennsylvania – sometimes in the office and sometimes from home. I really don’t pay much attention to where she is physically because with PGi‚Äôs online meetings technology, it doesn‚Äôt matter. Instead of meeting in person, we just join each other‚Äôs iMeet room. I‚Äôve even set up my iMeet room to notify me via text and email when someone enters and I‚Äôm not there ‚Äì kind of like a knock on the door. She can even drop off files for me in my room!

¬†We only see each other two or three times a year when we attend a conference or meet in one of PGi’s global support centers. I‚Äôve never felt like I’m not near her, because I ‚Äúsee‚Äù her in iMeet. And those attendance questions that used to be a big deal? Like PGi‚Äôs Digital Nomad has shown, we can work anywhere using iMeet and GlobalMeet.

Remote managers report that their top two challenges for virtual teaming are trust and communications.  If you’re part of a virtual team, find out how iMeet and GlobalMeet can dissolve geographic barriers for an experience that feels like your remote employee is sitting in the cube next to you.

 *Sources: Forresters, Brandman University, US Census, World at Work, Telework Research Network, Training/AMA/14CP, Achieve Global

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Technology Got You Down? Let Simple Conferencing Pick You Up https://www.pgi.com/blog/2012/03/technology-got-you-down-let-simple-conferencing-pick-you-up/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2012/03/technology-got-you-down-let-simple-conferencing-pick-you-up/#respond Wed, 14 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/technology-got-you-down-let-simple-conferencing-pick-you-up/ When it comes to new technology, I am one of the last to adopt the latest advances. I still love handwritten notes, birthday cards sent through postal mail and books printed on paper.  Each of these things helps me feel more connected to the person or story with which I’m interacting. The electronic versions of these …

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When it comes to new technology, I am one of the last to adopt the latest advances. I still love handwritten notes, birthday cards sent through postal mail and books printed on paper.  Each of these things helps me feel more connected to the person or story with which I’m interacting. The electronic versions of these activities simply don’t have the same effect.

When things work so well the old fashioned way, I don’t like to invest a lot of time in a new tool until I understand its value. Too many advances require more time and don’t relieve me of other activities.

I have found one new tool through PGi that makes my life simpler. As a remote employee, I spend a lot of time on conference calls. I used to use traditional audio conferencing until iMeet showed me an easier and more personal way to meet. I use my unique iMeet room every day to communicate with my colleagues, and because the system calls me, I don’t even have to know my dial-in number. Now, that’s what I call advanced! When I want to just focus on my meeting, I appreciate having one less thing to remember.

I was even able to get started without a user guide or training. You only need to see iMeet once to understand it. After all, if technology is supposed to improve our lives, we should be able to integrate it without a lot of hassle.

I love that with iMeet, my work meetings don’t take time away from personal activities I love, like reading a really good book with lots of printed pages.

If you, too, still love a hand written note, call PGi to find out why iMeet is for you.

 

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Why This “Old Lady” Loves PGi’s Conferencing Products https://www.pgi.com/blog/2012/03/why-this-old-lady-loves-pgis-conferencing-products/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2012/03/why-this-old-lady-loves-pgis-conferencing-products/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/why-this-old-lady-loves-pgis-conferencing-products/ As the mother of a tween boy, I feel like I’m always battling the technology monster. I have an affinity for eye contact from kids, and over the past couple of years, I’ve watched my son’s friends communicate less with their eyes as they became more social through technology. I know they are not looking …

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As the mother of a tween boy, I feel like I’m always battling the technology monster. I have an affinity for eye contact from kids, and over the past couple of years, I’ve watched my son’s friends communicate less with their eyes as they became more social through technology. I know they are not looking at my house slippers because they are fashionable. The change scares me. When I think my own son is abusing an electronic privilege, I don’t hesitate to pull the plug and schedule a date night where (gasp!) we are required to speak to each other.

As much as I’m an old lady about new technology, I love PGi’s conferencing products because they are personal. When I’m using video through iMeet or GlobalMeet, I don’t worry that the person I’m meeting with isn’t focused on the conversation. Unlike other meeting solutions, with iMeet and GlobalMeet, you can sense if someone is distracted. From their room lighting up when they talk to the clarity of the video, I feel like I’m in the same room with them. If fact, I’ve caught myself saying things like, “It was nice seeing you again,” at the end of a meeting, when in fact, I’ve never seen the person outside of iMeet.

Really seeing the person I’m meeting with, not just through video, but through personal connections is why I love PGi’s technology. I can read their profile on their iMeet cube or connect with them through their social networks directly from an iMeet meeting. It’s meeting with eye contact that I’m missing from too many of today’s kids. If only Super Mario had the same personal feel as PGi’s products.

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Let’s Get Personal and Stop Email Overload https://www.pgi.com/blog/2011/12/lets-get-personal-and-stop-email-overload/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2011/12/lets-get-personal-and-stop-email-overload/#respond Wed, 07 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/lets-get-personal-and-stop-email-overload/ As a Communications Manager at PGi, I’m passionate about writing but not when it comes to day-to-day communications with my co-workers. My Outlook inbox fills up daily at an alarming rate. That’s why I’m a big proponent of picking up the phone and calling my co-workers when I have a question or need to briefly …

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As a Communications Manager at PGi, I’m passionate about writing but not when it comes to day-to-day communications with my co-workers. My Outlook inbox fills up daily at an alarming rate. That’s why I’m a big proponent of picking up the phone and calling my co-workers when I have a question or need to briefly discuss something. At the same time, I hate leaving voicemails, primarily because people simply don’t return them. I don’t take it personally, though. Texting and emailing have replaced the archaic landline that was once used for communicating.

We’re so used to talking with our fingers that we often miss that little blinking light that tells us we have a message waiting. Or, people listen to my voicemail but then respond with an email!

So why do I despise email so much? Aside from being a remote worker who often starts to feel lonely by 3 p.m., email lacks a personal, human connection. My need to connect with others is why I’m also passionate about PGi’s services. We make our services so simple that the focus is on connecting with others. With iMeet, you get your own personal room where you can share pictures and information about yourself and connect through common networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

For web conferencing, GlobalMeet makes it possible for people to connect without all of the hassles that often come with web products. From set-up to billing and everything in between, GlobalMeet makes it easy for people to communicate in a way that feels face-to-face.

Of course, email and texting are great for keeping records, outlining details or when you don‚Äôt want to intrude on someone’s day with a ringing phone, but it’s time to swing the pendulum back the other way.

Here’s one French company that is swinging the pendulum WAY back. This IT services company hopes to completely eliminate email company by 2013. Do you think they can do it? Read the full story here.

For tips on how to manage the email onslaught, read PGi’s Learning Space. I encourage you to look at your own communication habits, close that text or email, and talk with your voice. You may find that it’s faster, avoids confusion and an ongoing chain that just clogs an already overflowing inbox. At the very least, you might just be making a remote worker’s day feel a little less lonely.

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Mobile Usage Continues Its Momentum https://www.pgi.com/blog/2011/11/mobile-usage-continues-its-momentum/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2011/11/mobile-usage-continues-its-momentum/#respond Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/mobile-usage-continues-its-momentum/ At the movie theatre recently, I saw an ad to download a coupon for a free small popcorn from my mobile device. Bummer for folks who didn‚ have a smart phone; they paid full price, but I only paid for the Coke. It seems everyone is cashing in on mobile these days, and for good …

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At the movie theatre recently, I saw an ad to download a coupon for a free small popcorn from my mobile device. Bummer for folks who didn‚ have a smart phone; they paid full price, but I only paid for the Coke. It seems everyone is cashing in on mobile these days, and for good reason. By 2014, mobile internet is projected to surpass desktop internet usage.

That’s why more and more companies are using mobile to redefine how they interact with customers, including PGi. When a product or service goes mobile, it becomes more accessible and therefore more valuable. Take meetings for example. Twenty-six percent of mobile app users are using apps for productivity purposes. With more people meeting while on the go, PGi now offers mobile apps for iMeet, which can be downloaded from the iTunes Store. A GlobalMeet app for Blackberry will also be released in a few weeks.

Going mobile alters the conditions under which iMeet can be used, but how is the end meeting experience? While meeting via a mobile device is very similar to using a desktop, due to the small screen space as well as differences in the Operating System, the iMeet experience looks and feels somewhat different. Primarily, the controls have been reconfigured to work with the tablets‚ touch screen and web cam video is not supported on the iPhone. Overall, though, we worked hard to make the experience very similar.

As much as I enjoy the freedom of having a mobile device, personally I’m a slow adapter to new technology and prefer to stick to a desktop for most of my internet usage. Of course, when I’m at the movies, I’ll still use my cell phone to cash in on some free popcorn. What about you? What are some great deals you’ve received through your mobile device?

 

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Are You Hung Up About the Right Time to Host a Meeting? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/09/are-you-hung-up-about-the-right-time-to-host-a-meeting/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/09/are-you-hung-up-about-the-right-time-to-host-a-meeting/#respond Mon, 13 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/are-you-hung-up-about-the-right-time-to-host-a-meeting/ In today‚Äôs information packed world, the timing of your message can mean everything. Want a Journalist‚Äôs attention? According to a¬†recent Business Wire poll, Tuesday mornings are¬†the optimal time to send a news release. If you‚Äôve just written a new blog post for your readers, try publishing on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. According to Daily …

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In today’s information packed world, the timing of your message can mean everything. Want a Journalist’s attention? According to a recent Business Wire poll, Tuesday mornings are the optimal time to send a news release.

If you’ve just written a new blog post for your readers, try publishing on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. According to Daily Blog Tips, these tend to be the best days for traffic.

Want to get retweeted? Try 4 p.m. ET on a Friday according to Fastcompany.com.

With timing so relevant for these other mediums, it’s logical that there is also a best time to host meetings. According to Inc.com, people are more willing to accept meeting invites at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. But if you’re hosting with participants across times zones, don’t send that meeting request just yet. Use PGi’s Global Meeting Planner to synchronize meeting times across multiple time zones.

To use the Meeting Planner, simply select a country and city for the host and participant locations. Select “Add Location” to view the time locally. You can send a meeting request to yourself from the Meeting Planner and then use that request to invite participants.

So before you schedule a lunch meeting with someone down under, check PGi’s Global Meeting Planner.  At noon in Atlanta, it’s only 2 a.m. in Australia. That’s a perfect time for a “save the earth” Public Service Announcement but certainly not your meeting.

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Tips for Telecommuters – Part 2 https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/08/tips-for-telecommuters-part-2/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/08/tips-for-telecommuters-part-2/#respond Wed, 18 Aug 2010 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/tips-for-telecommuters-part-2/ An earlier post on flexible workplace policies reported that arrangements such as job sharing, phased retirement of older workers, and telecommuting can increase the productivity of a company‚Äôs workforce and its overall bottom line. I believe this is true when both the employer and employee are careful to set up guidelines. In my most recent …

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An earlier post on flexible workplace policies reported that arrangements such as job sharing, phased retirement of older workers, and telecommuting can increase the productivity of a company’s workforce and its overall bottom line. I believe this is true when both the employer and employee are careful to set up guidelines. In my most recent post, I talked about having structure with your workspace and hours. Here are a few other things to consider:

Got Kids? They need to go … somewhere. Whether it’s daycare, school or summer camps, kids need to be away during work hours just as if you worked in an on-site office.

Turn a Blind Eye to Personal Messes: Life brings clutter, and like when I used to work in the office, I sometimes end my work day to find the breakfast dishes are still sitting out. They eventually get picked up, so I’ve learned to turn a blind eye during a busy work day.

Have the Communications Essentials: With GlobalMeet and web conferencing, I have everything I need to stay connected to my office peers.

What has helped you work most productively from home? Share your telecommuting tips with me here.

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Reasons to Work from Anywhere: Tips for Telecommuters https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/07/reasons-to-work-from-anywhere-tips-for-telecommuters/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/07/reasons-to-work-from-anywhere-tips-for-telecommuters/#respond Mon, 26 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/reasons-to-work-from-anywhere-tips-for-telecommuters/ Working from home brings to mind bare feet, fuzzy slippers and pajamas. And while you‚Äôre working, don‚Äôt forget to put in a load of laundry. Whether it‚Äôs for comfort, the opportunity to get more done in less time or any other reason to Work from Anywhere, telecommuting is a lure for many. While it does …

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Working from home brings to mind bare feet, fuzzy slippers and pajamas. And while you’re working, don’t forget to put in a load of laundry.

Whether it’s for comfort, the opportunity to get more done in less time or any other reason to Work from Anywhere, telecommuting is a lure for many. While it does offer many benefits, doing it full-time requires more organization than the occasional work from home days. As a full-time telecommuter, I consider having structure in your day essential. One way to do that is to have an office space. While the dining room table may work fine occasionally, full-time telecommuters need a designated office. I have a home office that’s considered a “free-space,” meaning we don’t try too hard to make it look nice. It’s cluttered with work papers, reference books, two computers, a printer and a fax machine. When visitors come over, we close the doors and hope they don’t peek in.

Along with your office space, you should have designated work hours. Sure, you may sneak in an occasional load of laundry or even take the dog for a short walk, but work time is just that. Have regular hours and stick too them. On the flip side, just because you work from home, don’t let it take over your personal life.

I enjoy working from home, but it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have an office space and regular hours. I’ll share more tips for working from home soon, but now, I’ve gotta run … the washing machine just buzzed.

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Reasons to Work From Anywhere: My Hubby Got a Transfer! Do I Need a New Job? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/07/reasons-to-work-from-anywhere-my-hubby-got-a-transfer-do-i-need-a-new-job/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/07/reasons-to-work-from-anywhere-my-hubby-got-a-transfer-do-i-need-a-new-job/#respond Tue, 06 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/reasons-to-work-from-anywhere-my-hubby-got-a-transfer-do-i-need-a-new-job/ EDITORIAL NOTE: Coming to an office is important, but sometimes telecommuting gives you that extra ‚Äòquietness‚Äô to be productive or the flexibility to meet deadlines without wasting time sitting in traffic. Here are some reasons why the PGi Blog Team thinks the ability to work from anywhere is crucial in today‚Äôs world! Although I‚Äôve been …

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EDITORIAL NOTE: Coming to an office is important, but sometimes telecommuting gives you that extra ‘quietness’ to be productive or the flexibility to meet deadlines without wasting time sitting in traffic. Here are some reasons why the PGi Blog Team thinks the ability to work from anywhere is crucial in today’s world!

Although I’ve been working from home for three years and really enjoy it now, it began out of necessity rather than choice. After all, my co-workers were half the reason for working. I enjoyed my office friends and was one of the few people I knew who didn’t want to leave the cubicle environment. Who would I chat with on Monday mornings about my weekend? With whom would I discuss prime time television?

When my husband got a job transfer, I assumed my PGi career was over and I was sad to leave the company. But wait … aren’t we the meetings experts? Don’t we connect people around the globe every day? I suddenly had, what all my co-workers believed, a wonderful opportunity to telecommute. My company was very flexible in allowing me to set up a home office. I appreciated it, and knew it was a benefit, but I still dreaded that first day in anticipated isolation. And, admittedly, the first few weeks were a little quiet. But then something interesting happened. After becoming more ingrained in our conferencing products, it wasn’t so lonely after all. Thanks to web conferencing, I could share documents and my desktop as easily as in person. And what about discussing weekend activities and favorite t.v. shows? Automated conferencing easily became part of my daily work tools.

According to Forrester Research, 34 million Americans work from home at least occasionally today. That number is expected to rise to 63 million in 2016! Collaboration tools such as web conferencing make it easier than ever to stay productive. What’s your experience with telecommuting? Does your company provide you with the tools you need to be one of the 63 million?

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Stop Speaking in the Dark https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/02/stop-speaking-in-the-dark/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/02/stop-speaking-in-the-dark/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/stop-speaking-in-the-dark/ As a work-at-home employee, I‚Äôm constantly using conference calls to stay connected. While I love the tool, I sometimes feel like I‚Äôm speaking in the dark. Too often I find myself asking the person I‚Äôm meeting with to describe what they‚Äôre seeing or emailing screen shots back and forth. What a waste of time! With …

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As a work-at-home employee, I’m constantly using conference calls to stay connected. While I love the tool, I sometimes feel like I’m speaking in the dark. Too often I find myself asking the person I’m meeting with to describe what they’re seeing or emailing screen shots back and forth. What a waste of time! With all the time spent trying to figure out who’s looking where, I could just share my desktop or the document we’re working on.

For 2010, my meetings resolution is to make my meetings more engaging by adding a visual element. For web conferencing, I like our Netspoke product. It’s easy to use and available on the fly. By simply sharing a web link with my meeting attendees, I can show Power Point decks, documents or my entire desktop. I can also interact with participants through polling and mood indicators.

With travel becoming increasingly expensive and burdensome, more people are opting for teleconferences to host their meetings. While there are many advantages to conferencing, relying on voice alone can drain the energy out of a meeting. The next time you need a little extra help keeping your attendees interested, try web conferencing.

Check out our free Netspoke web conferencing trial at: http://www.premiereglobal.ie/en/conferencing/web-conferencing/netspoke/demos-and-trials.asp

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RX for Working Through H1N1 https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/01/rx-for-working-through-h1n1/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2010/01/rx-for-working-through-h1n1/#respond Wed, 20 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/rx-for-working-through-h1n1/ It seems everyone is talking about it ‚Äì H1N1. Daycares, schools and companies of all sizes have planned how they‚Äôll keep a workforce together during a pandemic. Although reports of how severe it is vary widely, one thing is certain ‚Äì the virus is widespread. Even obsessive use of hand sanitizer didn‚Äôt spare me from …

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It seems everyone is talking about it – H1N1. Daycares, schools and companies of all sizes have planned how they’ll keep a workforce together during a pandemic. Although reports of how severe it is vary widely, one thing is certain – the virus is widespread. Even obsessive use of hand sanitizer didn’t spare me from its reach.

I have two children and by mid October, both of them had already suffered through it. Everyone worries about the physical discomfort of the flu, but in my case, my work suffered more than my children. Once you get the H1N1 diagnosis, people physically back away from you, and you’re not welcome in public for a minimum of five days – if you’re lucky. For many of us, it is difficult to leave our jobs for a week with no preparation. So how do you keep your work momentum going?

Everyone knows about the conference call, and this product saved me – no need to contaminate co-workers while the kids watch yet another Disney movie while recuperating. PGi’s audio conferencing solutions work in the US and have great global coverage.

With web conferencing, I use our Netspoke product. Check out this free trial:http://www.premiereglobal.ie/en/conferencing/web-conferencing/netspoke/demos-and-trials.asp)

I could still meet, collaborate, share PPT decks – and get my job done!

One last tip, when my sick patients needed attention and I couldn’t concentrate during a meeting, asking the host to record the audio and web meeting meant I could listen to a replay later.

With audio and web conferencing tools, I was able to “return” to work after a week as if I had never left it. Has anyone else’s job been impacted by H1N1? How did you handle it?

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Basic Blunders in Audio Assisted Conferencing – When it’s Time to Sweat the Small Stuff https://www.pgi.com/blog/2009/10/basic-blunders-in-audio-assisted-conferencing-when-its-time-to-sweat-the-small-stuff/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2009/10/basic-blunders-in-audio-assisted-conferencing-when-its-time-to-sweat-the-small-stuff/#respond Mon, 05 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/basic-blunders-in-audio-assisted-conferencing-when-its-time-to-sweat-the-small-stuff/ It‚Äôs time for your quarterly earnings release. You have sweated through preparing your presentation, editing, reviewing, practicing ‚Ķ and practicing again. You finally feel comfortable with your message, but in all your preparation, have you sweated the right stuff?I contacted the Service Quality Team at Premiere Global, and here‚Äôs what they say are the easiest …

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It’s time for your quarterly earnings release. You have sweated through preparing your presentation, editing, reviewing, practicing … and practicing again. You finally feel comfortable with your message, but in all your preparation, have you sweated the right stuff?
I contacted the Service Quality Team at Premiere Global, and here’s what they say are the easiest yet biggest blunders speakers make that often have the biggest impact on their Operator-assisted call:

Not identifying yourself as a speaker when you dial in. If the Operator is unaware you are a speaker on the call, you’ll be placed in the main conference with a closed line. It’s likely that you will not be able to speak when it’s your time, or your conference will be delayed while the Operator searches for your name amongst all your participants.

Calling in at scheduled start time. We know you’re busy, but if you don’t dial in a few minutes early, the Operator can’t conduct a sound check or go over all the call details, such as Q&A prioritization or proper pronunciation of all your speakers’ names.

Not distributing the confirmation code. PGi is committed to protecting the privacy of every client we serve. Without a confirmation code, your participants will likely be asked for additional pieces of information to ensure we’re placing them in the correct call. Having the confirmation code helps facilitate their access into your call.

So the next time you host an Operator-assisted conferencing event, don’t forget to sweat the small stuff. It is often the difference between a successful call and an apology to your participants. For more tips on hosting conferencing events, please go to PGiSupport at http://support.pgi.com/.

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