Tips for an Effective Remote Meetings
Updated: May 8, 2020
“One of the secret benefits of having remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance.”
Remote work may still be in the experimental phase but virtual meeting & Flexi work is here to stay. The way we work has changed in 2020, not only because we have been confined to homes for everything but also as people are realizing all the hustle doesn't guarantee any security either work or financial.
What is it that we should seek then to ensure we and our future generations have a smooth & sustainable future? This very awareness that life is bigger than the work you do is sweeping us into the future. And if we were to go back to the old normal, who is to say a bigger pandemic, a more ominous climate change problem, etc. will not happen!
Let's prepare for the first step of remote or any work - a group of people with the same goal coming together aka the meeting.
Here are 6 tips that can assure your virtual meeting goes smoothly, no matter how distant you are from your coworkers.
Prepare an Agenda
Similar to most meetings, whether virtual or not, it is always a good idea to have an agenda put in place and circulate it to your team in advance. This will give every person an opportunity to be prepared and add any items they would like to cover. If everyone comes prepared and has their talking points ready, this will help you maximize your time and complete your meeting in the allotted time. Just remember — once you have an agenda in place, you need to stick to it!
Test your Technology
Between Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Ringcentral or any other video-conferencing tool you might use — it is very common to have technical difficulties. Each tool may have its own login credentials or updates that may require extra time and result in being late to the meeting. Remember to test the technology at least 5 minutes in advance of the meeting to assure you have no issues.
Treat it no different than an in-person meeting
Although a remote-meeting may feel untraditional, it is still very important to be on time and respect the agenda. This means limiting small talk, in addition to being prepared with talking points. It is also a good idea to use video to see one another. This will make the virtual meeting feel no different than your traditional in-person meeting and allow you to see the body language of your team.
Discuss questions and feedback off-line
It is important to acknowledge all of the feedback and questions asked throughout a meeting, but remember the importance of staying on-topic and consider all of the participants’ time. If a specific topic is not relevant to the entire team, consider the opportunity to discuss these items off-line. This will result in a smoother meeting and avoiding team members tuning out.
Write meeting notes
As our workdays continuously get busy, it is easy to forget certain action items or points made in every meeting. You never know what point could be crucial to success in the future. Assign one person to write the meeting notes during the meeting and circulate them after the meeting concludes. It is often a great opportunity to bring these items up in the next meeting as a springboard for a healthy discussion.
Keep everyone engaged
Consider having a different teammate drive each meeting. This will be beneficial for the growth of your team members by giving them the opportunity to lead a discussion. There is a tremendous amount of team-morale in allowing every member’s voice to be heard. Especially with virtual meetings, it is easy to mute yourself and be quiet, but you will find a much more productive meeting by encouraging every person to speak.