Remote meetings are here to stay, so as your team navigates what the future will hold in this new business normal, use these strategies to ensure communication doesn’t miss a beat. When you lead with focus and intention, the result is a more productive and collaborative meeting flow. However, a report from Wundamail found that 42 percent of employees who attend a remote meeting do not contribute. Instead, they view it as a distraction from their actual work. As the team manager, you want to avoid this outcome, so below are four ways to lead an efficient, productive, focused, and intentional remote meeting.

Ensure that all attendees can access the platform before the call. ‍The platform you choose to run your remote meetings should be chosen with a variety of factors in mind. These factors should be unique to your team and organization. You may even find that having multiple conference platforms is a viable solution to cover your needs for smaller and larger meetings. So, in this article, we’re going to teach you how to run remote meetings effectively, and how to ensure that you achieve the desired results for your effort. For a meeting, it’s vital that someone is assigned as the note taker.

Make sure you're recording the entire meeting for other employees to reference later on. There may be effective ideas and strategies shared during the session that team members may want to revisit when completing a project assigned to them in the meeting. You can also record and send the video or audio to employees who could not attend to keep them up to date on what occurred in the meeting. To stay on task, ask an employee to be the meeting facilitator. They can receive the meeting agenda beforehand and make sure it's carefully followed by ensuring attendees present and discuss for the allotted amount of time before moving to the next item. You can assign one meeting facilitator for all meetings or randomly select a new one for each meeting.

So, dress appropriately, arrive on time, and close irrelevant tabs. Try to avoid checking your phone or email and preferentially save questions for the end. You can also encourage your engagement by practicing proper virtual meeting etiquette. Manners are always necessary at the workplace - and everywhere you go.

Schedule Remote Meetings In A Way That Matches Your Team Dynamic

This keeps you from losing a significant amount of time in your meeting. Now, this doesn’t have to be an elaborate, 10-page business plan. Rather, it should be a short and sweet set of talking points to let everyone know what will be discussed. You can even get away with sending a small bulleted list via email or Slack beforehand.

According to a survey, 72 percent of business owners plan to make at least some of their staff permanently remote after the COVID ordeal. Virtual communication is the norm across all industries now. Even in the virtual world you can make use of more creative meetings types.

Encourage Teammates To Turn On Videos

Don't criticize people for their lighting, camera placement, or another visual issue during the meeting. The time to correct those things are before the meeting, one on one. Not long ago, the thought of running a high-performing, fully remote sales team would have caused the average sales leader to break out in a cold sweat. For it to be effective, those points need to sink in – and that just won’t happen if your team doesn’t feel engaged.

  • They need to know they have been understood and respected.
  • You can develop some social time with your remote team without needing to schedule meetings.
  • To encourage employees to share their thoughts with you, create a comfortable environment by meeting one-on-one to learn what you can improve.
  • People want to be heard, seen, and respected during an online meeting—just like they do everywhere else.

Lucidchart makes it easy to provide everyone with access to the team’s process flow. With the right encouragement, your remote employees will begin to feel more comfortable in voicing their opinions, sharing their insights, and becoming active participants in team matters. During regular team meetings, such as a daily standup or sprint planning, use the first few minutes to catch up on any exciting news or weekend plans. In addition to bringing the team closer together and increasing employee satisfaction, this virtual water cooler chat can get team members prepared to participate more during the meeting. Co-workers can add items they would like to discuss and see the value they will personally gain by attending the meeting. Some managers feel the need to schedule additional check-ins to make sure their remote team members stay productive and have the resources they need.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Finally, consider breaking up your agenda into multiple sections. Allow people in different roles to join later or leave earlier if a given section isn’t relevant to them. Don’t allow side conversations to dominate the session – if an issue can’t be resolved quickly and efficiently, take it off-line.

Essential Tips For Remote Team Building

Remember, any new skill set or organizational change needs time to develop. With these best practices in mind, you and your colleagues will find the way that works best for your virtual meetings, and through your daily routine, you’ll achieve fantastic results. Virtual meetings are an amazing process that every remote team should learn how to apply and maximize their work.

This gives everyone enough time to voice all their opinions on each item without feeling rushed. Have the attendees notify the meeting leader if they desire more time to talk about a specific topic. Your team can also schedule another meeting to elaborate on that point further. Since employees are in their own locations, it can be easier to become distracted by work-related items or other objects in their environment. Keep them engaged by giving every attendee an important task to complete during the meeting.

In a remote meeting, some employees are more comfortable speaking and you don’t want to allow anyone to dominate. Therefore, the facilitator may want to call on people by name to allow each team member to communicate. Side conversations and chit-chat before a face-to-face meeting gets going is common, but it doesn’t always work as well in virtual situations. Meeting experts Bob Frisch and Cary Greene suggest having a formal structure, an assigned facilitator, an agenda, and set time limits to keep your virtual meeting running smoothly. However, even when stay-at-home orders eventually come to an end, knowing how to run a remote meeting effectively will still be a great skill to possess.

Some great apps allow participants to vote, an easy way to determine if the group has reached a consensus. This can be done in real time during the meeting, or immediately afterward to separate deliberation from decision-making. Use available chat room technology, not for side conversations but for attendees to communicate that they want to speak or that they missed something. For some meetings, the chat room can be used as a second channel of communication that the leader or another attendee moderates. Utilizing the technological tools at your disposal helps increase involvement and engagement.

Some team members may still be reticent to pipe up during a digital meeting. Take the time to schedule a one-on-one to get that person’s insights on how you can make remote meetings How to run a successful remote meeting a more inclusive space for them. Even better, create a communal space or document online where people can add their thoughts, insights, and suggestions following the meeting.

Most video conferencing solutions had a minor delay and connectivity issue to them. So it can be easy to accidentally talk over each other during a remote meeting. For example, let's say you are asking your team a question. During that time, leave a few seconds of silence to give people time to answer before moving on.

But team encounters are all about constructive feedback between colleagues. Try to discuss how you can improve results and propose an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your decisions. Check on the tools you use to communicate, and how comfortable your attendees are with the systems. Prepare a list of topics or questions you’ll mention during the meeting. And prepare all the documentation of your session before connecting. Since you’ll be running the meeting, you’ll know what topics your team should discuss during the virtual encounter.

Ending Meetings And Gathering Feedback

And although every team is different, they all benefit from an online meeting tool that has both video and audio functionality at the very least. Research says that 55% of communication is body language, while another 38% is tone of voice—all of which is necessary to creating a communal atmosphere during a digital meeting. While remote meetings might seem difficult to manage, they’re not. A little planning is all you need to ensure a successful and productive remote meeting. Luckily, technology has more than caught up with the growth of online meetings.

And if they do, the conversation will quickly turn to ‘what breed of cat have you got? Unmuted people are distracting and can derail a remote meeting. GetApp recently collected 15 software vendors offering free plans, trials, services, and more to help businesses with their video conferencing during COVID -19.

Informal Meetings Are Key To Innovative Ideas

And thanks to the best practices in this guide, they won’t be anymore. Decide a regular, consistent schedule (such as weekly, bi-monthly, post-project wrap-up, etc.) all your employees will come to anticipate and expect. With people on mute, in tandem with a lack of body language and the general awkwardness of the remote meeting situation, you can have trouble telling how people are responding. Setting clear expectations and sharing important documents ahead of time makes it easier for everyone to prepare. In turn, that ensures your meeting will be more efficient, reducing the amount of time you have to spend on basic explanations and other preamble. Ind one that everyone is comfortable using and stick with it, don’t chop and change.

During The Meeting

A remote meeting is a professional business meeting between employees who are at separate remote locations, rather than all together in an office. Employees can conduct remote meetings using technical software like video or phone conferencing tools to better communicate with employees. Employees can complete remote meetings with other team members, supervisors and clients. Staying in touch with remote employees by email, text, instant messaging, phone calls, and virtual team meetings is a start. But what the entire team really needs is a shared understanding of how processes work and how responsibilities are divided up. Conducting successful team meetings remotely will always be a learning process.

That way you won’t rudely suggest a meeting for a colleague when it’s 2am their time. – A fitting option for chatting with people all around the world, although connectivity can be a bit buggy at times. Improve productivity, and get help with what they’re working on. Consider the downsides of too many meetings and ways that you can cut back meetings in order to increase productivity. Feel free to jump in and participate at any time with smaller meetings. Use the “Raise Hand” feature or chat to interject or ask questions in larger meetings.

As the meeting leader you are a host, almost like the host of a party. Have you ever been at a party where the host is in a bad mood? Being in the right mood can have a positive impact on how people are feeling in your meeting, and how they move forward with the rest of their day. Our tools make it so easy to add additional people to a meeting. However, as for a face-to-face meeting, you shouldn’t ask a person to join your meeting if you are not looking for their input. If you look at those questions, it all comes back to communication.

The Guide To Holding Remote Team Meetings That Arent A Total Waste Of Time

Different conferencing tools have different strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a quarterly sales meeting might work best as a web conference, particularly if multiple people need to speak and share their screens. On the other hand, earnings calls – which aren’t particularly visual – might be best suited to teleconferencing. Teleconferencing — Audio-only virtual meetings that typically involve multiple people dialing in using a specific phone number and passcode. With Lucidchart, managers can quickly outline workflows with a high-level diagram to make sure everyone understands the procedures for their organization.

And now that most meetings are remote because many teams are completely remote, there are new challenges making it even harder for meetings to be effective. The leaders managing remote employees also face new hardships when it comes to leading completely virtual communication. Co-ordinating the Dispatch blog, I use Trello to keep in touch with our freelancer network of writers and graphic designers.

Virtual Environment

Ask them how they feel about projects, and what new ideas they can propose. Some introverts might turn off their microphones and leave virtual meetings for those babblers to discuss. So, as a leader, you could integrate them by asking questions or particularly referring to them towards some topic you discuss. Luckily, virtual meetings are more accessible to set than in-person ones.